Lemp’s family, meanwhile, asserted he was “murdered” by police who fired multiple rounds from outside the home, according to a statement released by the family’s attorneys.
“Any attempt by the police to shift responsibility onto Duncan or his family who were sleeping when the police fired shots into their home is not supported by the facts,” the family said in the statement.
The officers, part of a tactical team, arrived at the home Thursday morning after receiving a citizen complaint that Lemp possessed guns even though he was prohibited from doing so, according to the police statement. A Special Operations Division Tactical Unit came to Lemp’s home in the 12200 block of St. James Road to serve a “high-risk” search warrant. That typically means the officers do not knock.
“During the warrant service, the suspect confronted the officers and was fatally shot by an officer assigned to the Tactical Unit,” the statement read.
According to Lemp’s family, the officers also injured Lemp’s girlfriend.
“The police had obtained a search warrant for the home, however the search warrant makes no mention of any imminent threat to law enforcement or the community,” according to the family statement, which was released by their attorneys, Rene Sandler and Jonathan Fellner.
“We think it’s a terribly tragedy,” said Fellner. “There’s nothing to justify what happened.”
Police did not release the name or names of officers involved.
“Lemp was prohibited from possessing firearms and detectives were following up on a complaint from the public that Lemp, though prohibited, was in possession of firearms,” police said. “Detectives recovered three rifles and two handguns from the residence.”
Under an established agreement between Montgomery County and neighboring Howard County, prosecutors investigate their neighbor’s police-involved fatal shootings. The agreement was made because prosecutors and police officers, in each county, work closely with each other on other cases.
Chris Sandmann, Howard County’s deputy state’s attorney, came to the shooting scene Thursday morning. He declined to comment Friday.