Off-Duty Officer Killed In Baltimore
Police: Officer Involved In Gunfight

POSTED: 6:12 am EST January 9, 2007

BALTIMORE -- An off-duty Baltimore police officer was killed in a shooting early Tuesday that may have been part of a robbery attempt, police said.

The officer had just gotten off work and had arrived at his girlfriend's home in the 4500 block of Fairfax Road in West Baltimore when he was approached by at least one person, Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm said at a news conference Tuesday morning at police headquarters.

A gunfight ensued, Hamm said, and the officer, who was not in uniform, returned fire. The officer was shot several times.

The victim was identified as Officer Troy Chesley Sr., 34, a 13-year veteran who worked in the unit assigned to patrol public housing, said Donny Moses, a department spokesman who was a close friend. Chesley was the father of two sons, ages 12 and 14.

The shooting occurred at 1:20 a.m., Moses said. Chesley was pronounced dead at Sinai Hospital.

There was no immediate information on a suspect or suspects, nor on the motive for the crime. "We have some solid leads," Hamm said, but added that the investigation may take several "twists" before it is concluded.

Chesley's gunfire may have hit a suspect, Hamm said. Blood that officers did not think was Chesley's was found at the scene.

Officers searched the ground at the scene with flashlights, and one officer carried a metal detector. About a dozen yellow cards marked spots in the yard and driveway and on the steps of a brick duplex with white window frames. The front door to one of the homes stood open, and a group of officers stood nearby. Several blocks surrounding the home were blocked off to traffic.

Hamm did not know if the officer was wearing a ballistic vest.

Another officer was wounded in a similar shooting last month. Momudu Gondo was wounded Dec. 5 as he got out of his car near his home in Northeast Baltimore. Police arrested a suspect about a week later. Gondo was wearing a ballistic vest and survived the shooting.

Hamm, who was flanked by Gov.-elect Martin O'Malley and Mayor-designate Sheila Dixon, described Chesley was a "highly thought of, brave officer" who worked in the drug unit of the police department's housing unit in the Western District.

"We're hurting as a department," Hamm said. "We're hurting as a city."

Chesley and Moses had appeared in the department's "Keep Talking" video, which was released in response to a street DVD that warned viewers to "Stop Snitching."

O'Malley and Dixon offered condolences to Chesley's sons, whose mother died of a heart attack in 2004.

"We have got to stop these senseless killings," Dixon said. She pledged "whatever support we can offer" to Chesley's sons, adding that she hoped this tragedy would not embitter them.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.