Police shooting of man in Silver Spring barricade justified

WASHINGTON — The fatal shooting of a man who barricaded himself and a child inside a Silver Spring, Maryland, home in July was justified, an independent review and investigation by the Howard County State’s Attorney’s office finds.

In a letter to Montgomery County police, Howard County State’s Attorney Dario J. Broccolino wrote that after an extensive review, “a presentation was made to our senior staff members and all unanimously concluded that Officer (Edward) Cochran’s use of deadly force was justified on July 23, 2018, and therefore, this Office will take no further action.”

Howard and Montgomery County prosecutors have an agreement to investigate all police-involved shootings in the other’s jurisdictions.

The actions by police saved the life of a toddler.

Here’s how the events of the shooting unfolded.

Montgomery County police officer Edward Cochran shot Jean Carlos Natera-Perez, 30, after Natera-Perez assaulted his ex-girlfriend and held his 3-year-old son hostage inside her home on the 2800 block of Mozart Drive on July 23. Natera-Perez died two days later.

The 911 call placed at around 8 p.m. that night lasted more than 3 minutes long and was filled with mostly yelling and screams for help as a woman, later identified as his ex-girlfriend, was attacked by Natera-Perez inside the home in the Fairland area of Silver Spring. The call ended with Perez clearly saying he was going to kill her.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The content of the 911 call may be disturbing to some audiences.

When police arrived at the scene, Natera-Perez was holding a knife as he stood in the doorway with blood on his clothing, according to news releases from Montgomery County police. Officers ordered him to edit the home, but Natera-Perez stepped back inside and shut the front door, police said.

The woman was standing outside the house and told officers that her and Natera-Perez’s 3-year-old son was still inside the home. She told police Natera-Perez, who did not live in the home, entered her place unannounced and without permission, confronted her and her boyfriend and threw a bottle at him before her boyfriend fled from the home. The relationship between Natera-Perez and his ex-girlfriend was marked with other documented incidents of domestic violence.

Officers continued to instruct Natera-Perez to leave the house and release the child for more than an hour. Officers then saw him barricading the doors and windows and writing on the windows with his fingers using what appeared to be blood, according to police.

At around 10:15 p.m., police saw Natera-Perez light things on fire inside the home and heard the child screaming. Police then determined the child’s life was in danger, officers needed to enter the home to rescue the child and lethal force could be used on Natera-Perez to stop him from harming the child.

Officer Cochran saw Natera-Perez through a window and shot him. Officers then entered the home, filled with heavy smoke, and saw the child unharmed on the bed of the master bedroom, where Perez had been shot. The child was returned to his mother.

Officers used lifesaving efforts on Natera-Perez and he was transported to a hospital in critical condition. He died on July 25.

During a search of the home, police found charred clothing, flammable liquid and three lighters in the upper floor. Police also located a knife with what appeared to be blood on the bed.

 


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