crimesider

Baltimore cop kills former girlfriend and Baltimore firefighter in apparent murder-suicide, police say

Marie Hartman, bottom left, and Baltimore firefighter Andrew Hoffman, top left, were shot to death by Baltimore police officer Christopher Lee Robinson, police say.
CBS Baltimore
Marie Hartman, bottom left, and Baltimore firefighter Andrew Hoffman, top left, were shot to death by Baltimore police officer Christopher Lee Robinson, police say.
CBS Baltimore

(CBS) - A Baltimore police officer shot and killed his former girlfriend and her new boyfriend, a Baltimore firefighter, then turned the gun on himself in an apparent murder-suicide early Sunday, police said.

Police in Anne Arundel County, Md. responded to the Glen Burnie home of Baltimore firefighter Andrew Hoffman, 27, shortly after 1:30 a.m. Sunday, according to a news release from Anne Arundel police. They discovered Hoffman and his girlfriend, Marie Hartman, 26, dead from gunshot wounds.

Also found dead in the home was the suspected gunman, Christopher Lee Robinson, 37, a Baltimore police officer from Abingdon, Md.

Robinson was Hartman's ex-boyfriend, and had apparently followed the couple to Hoffman's home, Anne Arundel Police spokesman Lt. T.J. Smith told CBS News' Crimesider. Robinson was not on duty at the time of the incident. It wasn't clear what type of gun he allegedly used, but Smith said it was not his service weapon.

A motive hasn't yet been established, but Smith said police are investigating Robinson's previous relationship with Hartman. Hoffman and Hartman, the mother of a six-year-old child, had apparently been dating for a short time, Smith said.

Hartman's sister was also in the home at the time of the shooting, Smith told Crimesider. She hid in a closet and jumped out of a window to escape.

"We don't have any indication to believe she was ever a target," Smith said of the sister. "It doesn't appear he went through the house looking for anyone."

In a statement published on CBS Baltimore, Hoffman's family said that the third-generation firefighter was "not the target" and died trying to protect Hartman and her sister, though Smith said the events that led to the shooting were still under investigation.

It wasn't clear whether the suspected gunman was targeting Hartman, Smith said.

"Our hearts are absolutely broken over the loss of our son, brother, grandson and uncle," Hoffman's family wrote. "Our beloved Andy dedicated his life to protecting and saving others with the Baltimore City Fire Department as a Firefighter/Paramedic. We have come to learn that he died doing the same thing, putting others first. The only survivor of this horrific tragedy told us Andy tried to protect her and Marie, and because of that, he became the first victim. We have lost someone who meant so much to us and so many family members and friends. It's hard to imagine going forward without him, but we know Andy died a hero."

Hoffman was honored by law enforcement and spotlighted in news reports in July when he rescued a toddler who had wandered about a mile from his home along busy streets, Smith said. Some of the officers who took part in the ceremony to honor Hoffman responded to the murder scene, at first unaware Hoffman was one of the victims, Smith said.

Dozens gathered at a vigil Sunday night to honor the couple, including their families, who met for the first time at the emotional event, reports CBS Baltimore.

"Putting his life on the line for my daughter, he was a hero even off duty," Hartman's mother told the station.

Robinson joined the Baltimore City Police in 2009 and came from a military background, reports CBS Baltimore.

In a statement published on the station's website, Baltimore City Police said, "While at present there are no indications that a military deployment was the cause of this incident, this department recognizes the tremendous sacrifice made by the men and women who serve in the military. The BPD is committed to ensuring that those men and women are given all the assistance they require when they return home. For now, the prayers of both the fire department and police department will be with the families impacted by this tragedy."

  • Erin Donaghue

    Erin Donaghue covers crime for CBSNews.com's Crimesider.