Montgomery County police ID cop involved in bank shooting as Michael Damskey

July 23, 2014

Montgomery County police on Wednesday identified the officer who fatally shot a 54-year-old man reportedly armed with a knife inside a bank in Silver Spring. The officer, Michael Damskey, has been with the department for less than a year, police said.

Shortly before noon on Tuesday, Damskey and another officer responded to a trespassing call at the Capital One Bank branch in the 8700 block of Arliss Street. Inside, they found Donovan Bayton acting erratically. “Bayton failed to respond to officers’ instructions and displayed a knife which threatened the safety of bank employees, citizens within the bank and the officers,” police said in a statement. “A shot was fired after the officers’ initial attempts to de-escalate the situation were unsuccessful.”

Bayton was struck in the torso and later died at a hospital. Police said they recovered two knives at the scene. Damskey and the other officer have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of an investigation into the shooting, as is standard procedure, police said.

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Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of The Yoga Store Murder.
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