Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Maryland, My Maryland

I was saddened to find this at Pirate's Cove today: Not National News: Teenager With Airsoft Gun Shot By Police

Will we get riots over this? Maryland trooper shoots, kills teenager who had airsoft gun
A Maryland State Police trooper responding to a pair of 911 calls shot and killed a teenager who was pointing what investigators determined was an airsoft gun at him, authorities said Tuesday.

The shooting occurred after state police received two 911 calls about someone acting suspicious, Superintendent Woodrow Jones II told a news conference. The first caller said he thought the person had a gun, left a telephone number but didn’t give an address before hanging up, Jones said.

A second caller gave a street address for the suspicious person that was a short distance from the Leonardtown barracks, but the caller hung up before identifying themselves, Jones said.
Anyone thinking this was a setup in some manner?
Jones said the trooper, who responded alone, encountered Peyton Ham, 16, who he said had a gun and a knife. According to the superintendent, a witness said they saw Ham in the driveway of the home “in a shooting stance” and pointing a weapon at the trooper.

“The trooper fired at the male, wounding him,” Jones said. According to another witness, Ham then pulled out a knife and tried to get up.

“The trooper ordered him to drop the knife before he fired again,” Jones said, adding that the trooper reported the shooting and called for emergency personnel while other troopers gave first aid. Ham was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Jones said.

An investigation revealed that the weapon Ham wielded was an airsoft gun, which is commonly used to shoot BBs and which Jones called “a close representation of an actual handgun.”

Airsoft guns look realistic, but they are supposed to have an identifying orange barrel tip. Could that have been removed? To me, this sounds a little like suicide by cop, but I'll wait for further information (probably in vain) before making any kind of conclusion.

It’s simple: do not point any firearm, real or fake, at law enforcement officers. Or anyone else that is armed. You may not like the results. Or you family may not like the results, because you’ll be dead. If officers show up, put it down. This is pure common sense, which is in serious lack these days. When do the riots start and the media make a big deal out of this? When is Walgreen’s, Port Of Leonardtown Wines, and Dunkin get looted? There’s not much more in Leonardtown, it’s small town on the shore of the tip of Maryland south of D.C.
The teenager was white, as is the trooper who shot him, according to Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley.
Oh. Never to both. It’s a small town, with both the main office for the State Police in the county and the Sheriff’s office.

We rarely visit Leonardtown, which is across the bridge in Solomons, and then all the way across the peninsula formed by the Patuxent and Potomac Rivers, about 25 miles away. As Teach says, its a small town, with about 3,000 people as of 2010 (probably more like 4,000 now, I would guess), although we have attended the St. Mary's County Fair there a few times. It might be hard to get a decent riot started in Leonardtown.

The AP story did make the Post, so I suppose it isn't true that this is not "national news", but nevertheless, this won't draw the same scrutiny as Duante Wright in Minnesota. 

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