TOWSON, Md. (AP) — A police officer won’t face charges for shooting a man and wounding a man in Maryland.
Our media partner, The Baltimore Sun, reports that Baltimore County prosecutors cited evidence, including body camera footage, in their determination that the April 12 shooting of 27-year-old Brandon Smith by a county officer was justified.
It happened last month in a Parkville neighborhood, where police say a spree of car break-ins ended with an officer forced to open fire, sending a suspect to the hospital.
A neighbor toldWJZ last month she saw and heard it all, from the time the officer got out of his car to moments later, when he says both men went for their guns.
“The officer did revert back to his training, and did what he had to do in this situation,” says Baltimore County Police Cpl. Shawn Vinson.
Police say the 27-year-old suspect tried to turn away.
When the officer walked toward him, the suspect allegedly reached for a gun in his waistband, ignoring orders from the officer to stop.
“It escalates quickly to a person who is armed with a handgun who intended to pull this handgun out and try to use it against our officers,” Cpl. Vinson says.
In a letter to police Tuesday, Deputy State’s Attorney Robin Coffin wrote that Smith was “clearly going for his handgun” and Officer Downs acted “for his own safety.” The officer is identified only by his last name in line with an agreement with the police union.
Downs was responding to a report of someone breaking into cars when police say he encountered Smith, who reached for a gun in his waistband. Smith survived the shooting. Police say Downs has returned to duty.
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