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Md. sheriff’s deputy kills man armed with ‘large knife,’ officials say

Deputy wasn’t wearing body camera. Officials say deputy fired service weapon after 35-year-old crawled out window and ran toward him.

One person is dead after being shot by law enforcement in Gaithersburg on Wednesday. (Omari Daniels/The Washington Post)

A sheriff’s deputy in Montgomery County, Md., fatally shot a man wanted by authorities after officials say he crawled out a window in Gaithersburg and charged at officers while he was armed with a large knife.

“The suspect came out of that window brandishing the knife and was heading right towards the sheriff’s deputy and others,” Montgomery County Sheriff Darren Popkin said from the scene. “They tried to retreat. They tried to make space.”

The deputy’s rounds hit the man and another person who was with him, Popkin said. The second victim suffered a leg wound and was treated and released from a hospital, the sheriff said.

The deputy who fired his gun was not wearing a body-worn camera. He was working as part of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, run by the U.S. Marshals Service, which does not equip its officers with the devices, according to Popkin.

Popkin and other officials did not immediately release the names of the deceased man or the deputy.

More than 1,000 people have been shot and killed by police in the past year

As a member of the Marshals task force, the deputy also is a deputized federal officer, officials said. Because of that, the shooting will be investigated by federal agents at the FBI, according to Popkin and to Shayne Buchwald, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Baltimore field office.

She declined to comment further. A spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service said the agency is broadly implementing a policy to equip agents with body cameras but declined to comment further.

Popkin said the encounter Wednesday stemmed from a 2020 home invasion case, to which the 35-year-old pleaded guilty in 2021 — a resolution that included him being released. This May, the man did not appear for court for a matter related to his probation status, Popkin said. Deputies arrested him, according the sheriff, and he was released again with instructions to return to court in July.

When he failed to appear, according to the sheriff, the matter was turned over to the fugitive task force. About 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, the officers first tried to find the man in Germantown, a search that led to them to an address in Gaithersburg.

While outside the residence, Popkin said, the man came out the window. One of the officers tried to slow him down with a Taser.

“Unfortunately the Taser did not knock him down,” Popkin said.

The sheriff said his deputy was “backing up trying to get away from the guy” who got “very close,” causing the deputy to fear for his life and fire his weapon.

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