Frederick police officers ‘justified’ in shooting of Virginia man

A pair of Frederick police officers wounded during a shootout with a suspect in the Maryland city last week will not face charges.

State’s Attorney for Frederick County Charlie Smith said Frederick police officers Bryan Snyder and Kristen Kowalsky’s use of deadly force against Dominique Lamar Lewis, 25, of Hampton, Virginia, “was necessary and proportional.”

The decision was made after Smith’s office “reviewed the body-worn camera footage, witness statements, and the physical evidence collected from last Friday’s police-involved shooting,” according to a statement he issued Thursday.

Citing Maryland law and a standard set by the U.S. Supreme Court in Graham v. Connor, Smith called the shooting “legally justified.”

Lewis and City of Frederick police officers Snyder, 43, and Kowalsky, 32, were all shot at Key Parkway and Waverley Drive, near the Frederick Towne Mall, around 12:45 p.m. Feb. 11.

Snyder and Kowalsky were responding to reports of a suspicious man with a firearm in a residential area of the city. When they approached the man, later identified as Lewis, he fired, wounding them as they returned fire. All three were hospitalized at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center with gunshot wounds.

Only Lewis remains hospitalized. Because he is charged with attempted murder, Smith said his office is “unable to release the videos or provide further comment at this time.”

A bond review for Lewis is expected in the Frederick County District Court once he’s released from the hospital, Smith said.

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Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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