Fiancé Of Victim Killed By Police Speaks

A woman held at knife point by her fiancé speaks to WJZ about the moments leading up to the officer involved shooting that took his life.

Video Transcript

DENISE KOCH: Police opened fire, killing a man they say was holding a woman at knife-point in East Baltimore. Tonight, that woman is speaking to WJZ. Hello, everybody. I'm Denise Koch.

RICK RITTER: And I'm Rick Ritter. Tonight we are hearing about the moments leading up to that officer-involved shooting, directly from the woman who was being held at knife-point by her fiancee.

DENISE KOCH: And WJZ is live right now. Racheal Cardin explains why Commissioner Harrison and Mayor Scott are backing the officer's actions. Racheal.

RACHAEL CARDIN: Well Denise, Rick, we now know the man shot and killed by police is 49-year-old Timothy Fleming. His fiancee, like you mentioned, did speak to us. She still believes the shooting was unjustified, even though she was originally the victim in this case. We know that police are still investigating. She says he was shot inside his own home, Sunday morning. Shannon Burnham says Sunday morning, her fiance was not himself, and quickly got violent with her.

SHANNON BURNHAM: He had a knife [? in one-- ?] he grabbed me by my hair. He pushed me, threw me down on the ground. And had a knife to me, telling me that he was going to cut me.

RACHAEL CARDIN: During the commotion, Burnham says somebody called 911. When police arrived, they were told the man inside, a 49-year-old Timothy Fleming, had a knife.

MICHAEL HARRISON: Male suspect was in fact, holding this female at knife-point. He was standing over her while she was on the floor.

RACHAEL CARDIN: Burnham admits she was scared. In her almost 15 years with Fleming, she had never seen him like this. She tells WJZ she begged Fleming to drop the knife. But when he didn't, police fired.

SHANNON BURNHAM: They sat there, and repeatedly shooting at him. And they shouldn't have done that.

RACHAEL CARDIN: Police Commissioner Michael Harrison says his officers used de-escalation techniques and repeatedly tried to reason with Fleming. But eventually, shots were fired from at least one officer. The body-worn camera footage, he says, will be released soon.

MICHAEL HARRISON: I've decided that we will release it. It will likely be toward the middle of the week.

RACHAEL CARDIN: Burnham and Fleming have two children together. She says they were home when the shooting happened.

SHANNON BURNHAM: So now they've got to live with no father.

RACHAEL CARDIN: Now Burnham says she has been cooperative with police, but she does feel that a taser or a non-fatal shot should have been used before deadly force. Now as for Mayor Brandon Scott, he commended the police officers who tried to talk down the suspect. We're live in East Baltimore tonight. I'm Racheal Cardin for WJZ.