BALTIMORE (AP) — A Maryland police lieutenant won’t be prosecuted in the death of a Black man he shot in the back during an exchange of gunfire in October, officials said Monday.
The shooting happened about 2 a.m. on Oct. 11 after Baltimore County police officers responded to a report of an armed robbery at a Woodlawn-area convenience store, according to a report from the Independent Investigations Division of the attorney general’s office.
The report said the robber fled, crashed about a mile away and ran. Lt. Gregory Mead, who is white and has been with the department since 1996, responded to the area of the crash and saw Jovan Singleton, who was Black and resembled the description of the robbery suspect, the report states.
In a written statement, Mead said he asked Singleton to sit on the curb, but he took off and Mead followed. Seconds later, Mead said Singleton turned and Mead saw a muzzle flash, heard a gunshot and with a second muzzle flash, Mead fell to the ground in pain, feeling like a crow bar hit his knee cap. He said Singleton moved toward him and he fired.
About five hours later, Singleton’s body was found about 173 feet (53 meters) from the shooting scene and 50 feet (15 meters) from a firearm under a car, according to the report. Mead suffered an “incapacitating knee injury,” but was not shot, the report states.
An autopsy found that Singleton was shot in the back, indicating that he had turned away when Mead fired the shot that struck him and contradicting Mead’s account that Singleton was advancing, according to the report.
Mead had a body-worn camera, but did not activate it, the report states. In a written statement Mead said only that he left the precinct “while trying to plug the body camera cord into the battery.”
State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said in a release Monday that his office determined that the shooting was justified “based upon all of the facts and statements provided in the interview and the investigation,” The Baltimore Sun reported.
The investigative report is the first on a police-related death released since the division took over such investigations in the state on Oct. 1, according to Raquel Coombs, a spokeswoman for the attorney general.