BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Prosecutors conclude that Sgt. Bill Shiflett and a second Baltimore police officer were justified in opening fire on a gunman back in July 2019, according to a report.
Two people were killed, including the suspect, and two were injured- including Sgt. Bill Shiflett, in a shooting at a drug rehabilitation center in Baltimore on July 15.
The incident began when police responded to a report of an active shooter situation at the methadone clinic in the 2100 block of Maryland Avenue early that morning.
When officers arrived and encountered an armed person- later identified as they told him to drop the weapon, but instead, the suspect opened fire on the officers.
The officers returned fire, but one- Shiflett- was shot by the suspect. Another officer dragged him to safety.
49-year-old Ashanti Pinkney, the suspect, was killed after he killed a clinic employee and took other employees hostage. Pinkney’s record showed several drug and theft charges between 1999 and 2008.
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In this report, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office concluded that given the body-worn camera video and inside video showed that the suspect was armed with a gun, killed an employee while in the treatment center, continued to threaten employees with a gun, and fired a shot at the two officers and refused to surrender- “it would be objectively reasonable for the officers to conclude that their safety and the safety of the employees and patients at the treatment center was at risk, leading them to protect themselves and the people in the treatment center by utilizing force.”
They concluded the decision to use force was justified under the Maryland law of self-defense and the standard by the Supreme Court in Graham v. Connor.
From their findings in the report, the State declines to prosecute officers.