Fatal Shooting of Timothy Fleming by Baltimore Police


Bodycam Video Released by Police

On May 16, 2021, in East Baltimore, police officers were called to a family disturbance at the 1800 block of East Lafayette Avenue. The incident escalated, culminating in the fatal shooting of Timothy Fleming, 49, by Baltimore police officers. The event has sparked discussions on police de-escalation tactics and the use of force.

Officers responded to a 911 call about a man wielding a knife and threatening a woman. Upon arrival, they were met by one of the couple's children who informed them that his father, Timothy Fleming, was threatening his mother with a knife. Officers Gaston Melendez and his trainee entered the home and found Fleming standing over his live-in girlfriend, holding a large knife. Another officer, Jason Zimmerman, arrived shortly after and took a secondary position.

The officers engaged in various de-escalation tactics, attempting to reason with Fleming for approximately two minutes and 20 seconds. They reassured him that they could help resolve whatever problem he was facing. Despite these efforts, the situation escalated when Fleming grabbed his fiancée, Shannon Burnham, by the hair and appeared to motion as if to stab her.

At this point, both officers discharged their weapons. Melendez fired two shots, and Zimmerman fired seven. Fleming was fatally struck and pronounced dead at the scene. Burnham was not injured during the incident.

The Baltimore Police Department has released body camera footage of the event. Police Commissioner Michael Harrison and Mayor Brandon Scott commended the officers for their attempts to de-escalate the situation. However, Burnham, who had been with Fleming for 15 years and shares two children with him, criticized the officers' actions, stating they "shouldn't have done that."