Actions ‘Justified’ For Howard County Police Involved In Fatal Shooting

HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)—No criminal charges will be filed against Howard County police officers involved in the shooting death of an Elkridge man last month.  

“We have reviewed the investigative reports and conducted our own investigation and have concluded (that) the actions of the officers in using deadly force were justified,” wrote State’s Attorney Dario J. Broccolino in the brief memo.

Jeffrey Dustin Nichols, 19, of the 6600-block of Grouse Road died at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center after a confrontation with police at an industrial park in the 7400-block of Hi Tech Drive in Hanover. 

According to police, the county’s 911 call center received a call at approximately 3 p.m. on Nov. 7 reporting that an armed man fired shots in the Hanover area.  Responding police found Nichols walking with a handgun—first near the intersection of Loudon Avenue and Melrose Avenue, and then along railroad tracks bordering the industrial park.

Police ordered Nichols to drop the weapon, and fired multiple shots at him when he continued to refuse. 

Investigators later determined that Nichols’ weapon was a pellet gun that looked like a semi-automatic handgun.

The State’s Attorney’s Office investigated the actions of six veteran police officers who fired their weapons plus another veteran officer who was involved in an attempt to disarm Nichols.

“No further action will be taken by this office,” Broccolino stated in the memo.

  • Wiseguy

    “Sir…drop your…..Bang,Bang,Bang……………weapon before we are forced to shoot”

  • yousefthe giant

    Police always justify murder, they have the edge & believe me, they use it.

    • Steve

      Such a highly educated response! Thanks for being so willing to put in your knowledge and experience on this issue, your response truly helped me get a clear picture of the total incident at hand. And thanks to WJZ who continues to allow these great men and women of such amazing intelligence to post on their website. I’m not quite sure how I could have made it through the day without your wisdom and insight. You yousefthe giant, are my intellectual hero!

  • Sharon

    It took six (6) police officers to bring down one armed man. Six against one appears to be overkill to me. That situation could have been handled differently. The police officers are trained marksmen. One of them couldn’t handle that situation? Its more like murder instead of complete and total self-defense. Why was it necessary for six people to kill one man? One bullet could have fixed the problem….duh !

  • jimmy

    police are not trained marksmen….they area trained to shoot center mass of the target until the target is no longer a threat. police are trained to NOT shoot a gun out of someone’s hand, rather to shoot center mass of body.

  • jimmy

    what i mean by “not trained marksmen” is that police officers are not snipers. the handgun they are given is not manufactured or intended for long range accurate shots. it is a weapon that is designed for close confrontation and center mass shots. it is designed so that it reliably shoots each time you pull the trigger under adverse conditions and designed to hold up when knocked around. if the officers attempted to shoot the gun out of the subjects hand they would have violated their departments shooting policy….a policy that is consistent with all police departments. they are also not required to wait till the suspect points his gun at the officers and fires to determine if the gun is real or a toy/bb gun.

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