BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore County police officer who fatally shot a man during a traffic stop on I-83 in Baltimore County is back on active duty, the department said Thursday.
That officer is identified as Officer Page, a patrolman from the Cockeysville Precinct. He is a 21-year veteran and has returned to active duty.
Police released body-worn camera video of the police-involved shooting on I-83 from November 2019 earlier Thursday.
The video shows an officer stopping 48-year-old Eric Sopp on I-83 in northern Baltimore County after his mother had called saying he was driving drunk and threatening to harm himself with an ice pick.
When the officer approached the car, Sopp refused repeated orders and then started to get out of the vehicle. The officer opened fire, killing Sopp.
County police said no weapon was found on Sopp once police turned his body over, and they wouldn’t comment on whether or not a weapon was found in the car.
— Rachael Cardin (@RachaelCardin) February 27, 2020
Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt released a statement ahead of showing the video:
“The men and women in our police department encounter uncertain situations and make split-second decisions every day. Releasing video of someone losing his life is never taken lightly. The release of today’s video is in alignment with our recently announced BWC Release Policy and the Maryland Public Information Act. The internal investigation into this incident is ongoing.”
The full body-worn camera video can be viewed on their YouTube page here.
Attorneys representing Sopp’s mother Catherine also released a statement Thursday:
“Eric Sopp was shot and killed on November 26, 2019, shortly before 9:00 p.m., on I-83 in northern Baltimore County, Maryland. Mr. Sopp’s mother had called 911 earlier that evening to report that Mr. Sopp was suicidal and had been drinking at home before driving away. Officers responding to that 911 call pulled Mr. Sopp over as he drove southbound on I-83 near Mr. Carmel Road. The body camera footage shows that the officer who shot Mr. Sopp had his gun drawn and finger on the trigger when he approached Mr. Sopp’s car. When the unarmed Mr. Sopp, with nothing in his hands, got out of the car after the officer told him not to, the officer shot him eight times.
“Mr. Sopp’s mother, Catherine Sopp, anguished by her son’s unnecessary death stated, “I never imagined that when I called 911 to protect my son and others from him driving drunk, it would cost him his life. There was no reason for the officer to shoot and kill him.”