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Police Identify Baltimore Officer Who Killed Barbershop Shooting Suspect

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Police on Tuesday identified Sgt. David Burch, a seven-year Baltimore Police Department veteran, as the police officer who fatally shot a gunman suspected in a deadly crime spree that left two barbers dead and another man injured.

Burch's identity was released as police and the Maryland Attorney General's Independent Investigations Division investigate the Nov. 13 shooting that killed Carlos David Ortega, the 38-year-old man police say was behind the shooting deaths of 44-year-old Javier Cotto and 33-year-old Rafael Jeffers.

The off-duty sergeant was getting a haircut at Bladi Style Barber Shop on O'Donnell Street shortly after 3 p.m. that day when Ortega walked in with a handgun and shot Jeffers, the barbershop's owner, multiple times, police said. In response, Burch fired six rounds from his personal handgun, striking Ortega at least once.

Burch secured the scene and called for backup while a barbershop employee dialed 911. Despite life-saving efforts by paramedics, both Jeffers and Ortega were later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Authorities have interviewed two witnesses as part of the investigation. Because Burch wasn't on duty, he was not wearing a body camera at the time, police said.

Ortega is believed to be behind two shootings that unfolded within an hour of Jeffers' shooting.

Police suspect he shot a 37-year-old man on East Oliver Street about 2:30 p.m. that day after some sort of a dispute. They believe he also shot Cotto, who was found shot multiple time 15 minutes later on Eastern Avenue.

Cotto, a 44-year-old barber was taken to a hospital, but he did not survive. The third shooting victim, whose name has not been released, was listed in critical condition at last check.

No information about a possible motive for the deadly shooting spree has been released.

Under the Maryland Police Accountability Act, a police reform law that took effect in October, the Attorney General's Office is required to independently review all deaths at the hands of police.

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