Police: Officer fatally shot man during knife attack

WASHINGTON — A Montgomery County police officer fatally shot a suspect who, without provocation, attempted to stab the officer during a theft call Monday night.

Around 10:55 p.m. Monday, Officer Matthew McGowan responded to 10022 Stedwick Road after 28-year-old Richard Tilley reported his bike was stolen. For nearly 20 minutes, McGowan investigated and spoke with Tilley about the theft, Montgomery County police said Tuesday afternoon.

As McGowan concluded the investigation, police say a body camera shows Tilley suddenly produced a knife and lunged at the officer. McGowan fell to the ground while trying to defend himself, as Tilley continue to assault the officer, police said.

McGowan drew his gun, fired multiple times and hit Tilley, police said.

Emergency crews transported Tilley to a nearby hospital, where he died. McGowan received first aid at the scene. Officials have not released any additional details about McGowan’s injuries or condition.

Police recovered a knife at the scene.

“We’re thankful that he wasn’t injured more significantly because he could have been,” said Montgomery County police spokesman Capt. Paul Starks. “Remember, they were fighting; he was knocked down. He was on the ground.”

Starks said the body-camera footage won’t be released to the public at this point.

“It’s part of evidence right now in what could be a criminal event. In Maryland, when a life is taken by a police officer, the State’s Attorney’s Office reviews the findings from the investigation and looks at the evidence. This is an active investigation and we wouldn’t release it at this point,” he said.

McGowan, a five-year veteran of Montgomery County police, was placed on paid administrative leave, which is routine following a police-involved shooting.

Detectives from the Major Crimes Division are investigating the incident.  Anyone with information can contact police at 240-773-5070.

WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report from Washington.

Sarah Beth Hensley

Sarah Beth Hensley is the Digital News Director at WTOP. She has worked several different roles since she began with WTOP in 2013 and has contributed to award-winning stories and coverage on the website.

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