On Friday, before the shooting in which Ocran died, officers with the street crimes unit of the Gaithersburg police received information that he was armed with a handgun, Montgomery County police said in a news release. The county police are investigating Ocran’s shooting.
Shortly before 6 p.m. Friday, four plainclothes officers approached Ocran on Fulks Corner Avenue, just off Route 355, and identified themselves, police said. Ocran, whose address was not given, then ran across Route 355, a divided highway known in that part of the county as South Frederick Avenue. The officers followed, police said.
Gaithersburg Police Chief Mark Sroka said Friday night that the man being pursued “displayed a handgun” near an apartment complex.
Officers opened fire, and Ocran was killed. No officers were injured. Officials said police found a handgun that they believe belonged to Ocran. It was not immediately clear how many shots police fired, how many struck Ocran or which officer fired the fatal shot.
The officers involved were Sgt. Willie Delgado, who has 17 years on the force; Cpl. Larbi Dakkouni, who has eight years on the force; and officers James Doyle and Kyle Khuen, who each have been with the department for five years, Gaithersburg police said. All four officers were placed on paid administrative leave, per department protocol. The department has about 60 officers, who police the city of about 68,000 people, Mayor Jud Ashman said.
Gaithersburg police spokesman Dan Lane said the department does not require plainclothes officers to wear body cameras, so there is no body-camera footage of the shooting or pursuit.
Montgomery County Council member Will Jawando (D-At Large), who has advocated more transparency and accountability on police-involved shootings, called Ocran’s death “very unfortunate” and said the lack of footage made it all the more urgent for investigators to pin down key details. “Anytime you have a police-involved shooting and death, you have to have as much information to the public as soon as you can,” he said.
The Silver Spring Justice Coalition, an advocacy group that has focused on racial justice issues in Montgomery, said the shooting “raises a lot of questions, including whether Gaithersburg police followed their own policies. . . . Displaying a handgun is not a reason to shoot.”
On Sunday night, police in Gaithersburg said a vigil was to begin about 4 p.m. in the unit block of South Frederick Avenue where Ocran was shot Friday.
Shortly after 6 p.m., the Gaithersburg police said, they were notified of the shooting that had occurred “near where” the candlelight vigil “was taking place.” The man killed in the Sunday night shooting was not identified pending the notification of relatives.
Dan Morse contributed to this report.