Footage released from Montgomery Co. police shooting death of man with knife

Montgomery County, Maryland, police have released body camera footage of a Thursday incident during which a police officer shot and killed a man who was wielding a knife in the White Oak area of Silver Spring.

In the video, Sgt. David Cohen, an officer with the Montgomery County police, is shown exiting his patrol car in the 1500 block of Hadden Manor Court before drawing and aiming his pistol at Finan H. Berhe, 30, who was holding a knife.

Berhe runs toward Cohen from a distant sidewalk before stopping in the middle of the street.

“Put the knife down!” Cohen screamed as Berhe ran toward him and then stopped, momentarily backing away from the officer, who was pointing a gun at him.

“Get on the ground! I don’t want to shoot you!” Cohen shouted just before Berhe started running at the officer again.

The officer then fired five shots and appeared to hit Berhe in the chest. Berhe collapsed and dropped an object he was holding.

“Man down!” a man shouted after the shooting stopped.

Police said investigators recovered a knife that Berhe was brandishing when Cohen shot him. Berhe died at a hospital, police said. No officers were injured.

Cohen was the first officer to respond to a call about a man who threw a rock at a neighbor’s window and yelled for them to call police, according to police Chief Marcus Jones and a police department news release.

Berhe was taken to the hospital, where he died, Jones said during a Thursday news conference.

Cohen, a 17-year veteran of the department, has been placed on paid administrative leave while an investigation is conducted, a standard procedure after a police shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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