BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has found that three Baltimore officers were legally justified in shooting and killing a gunman in a downtown parking lot last year, according to a newly released report.
Mosby based his decision on his office’s review and investigation of the shooting using video evidence and witness statements.
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Benjamin Tyson, 35, was shot and killed by three officers on Feb. 25, 2021, at the Market Place garage near Inner Harbor after he retreated and pointed a gun at the officers, according to the report. Tyson was being sued in connection with a non-fatal shooting on Pratt Street.
That night, a person alerted officers patrolling the area to a shooting that occurred near East Pratt Street and Market Place. Tyson allegedly shot the man on Pratt Street after an argument and a physical fight, according to the report.
One officer assisted the victim while the other pursued the suspect, police said. Reinforcements arrived and officers chased Tyson to the parking lot at the 600 block of East Lombard Street.
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Based on the officers’ body camera footage, Mosby said Tyson failed to comply with the officers’ multiple orders to stop and raise his hands. Tyson then retreated and pointed a handgun at the officers.
Officers then fired at least 16 rounds at Tyson, hitting him. He was transported to an area hospital, where he died.
According to Mosby’s report, it was only after the suspect “failed to stop running, failed to comply with multiple orders to raise his hands, reached into his pocket to grab his handgun, pulled out a handgun, pointed the handgun at officers” were the officers left with optional lethal force.
“The decision of the officers involved to use lethal force in these circumstances is objectively reasonable,” Mosby said.
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The Independent Investigations Division of the Attorney General’s Office was created in response to several police reform bills passed by the Maryland General Assembly last year and is responsible for investigating fatal incidents involving the police. The Baltimore SAO’s investigation began before the state-run division was formed.