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Footage Shows Encounter That Led Baltimore County Cop to Shoot Unarmed Teen

An officer shot 19-year-old Keith McLeod after the teenage suspect allegedly tried to flee after attempting to fill a forged cough syrup prescription.
September 26, 2015, 2:56pm
Image via Baltimore County Police/Facebook

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A Baltimore County police officer shot and killed an unarmed teenage suspect on Wednesday afternoon. The teen, 19-year-old Keith McLeod, allegedly ran from police after attempting to fill a forged cough syrup prescription at a pharmacy in Reisterstown, Maryland.

When Officer David Earomirski cornered McLeod across the street, the teen pointed his fingers at Earomirski, police said, "as if with a weapon."

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After a chorus of calls for video of the incident to be made public, Baltimore County Police posted a 50-second clip to the department's official Facebook page on Friday afternoon.

The video shows Earomirski running into the frame with his gun raised. The officer disappears from view for a few seconds, before he can be seen backing away, gun still raised. McLeod enters the frame, bobbing toward the officer, his left hand out in front of him and his right arm behind his back near his waist.

At the moment McLeod swings his right hand out, Earomirski fires his gun and the teen collapses onto the pavement. McLeod writhes on the ground while the officer, gun still drawn, approaches cautiously. Earomirski tries to restrain McLeod, pinning the teen with one leg and pointing his gun at him.

McLeod, on his back, rolls out of the frame. Earomirski, gun still in hand, circles him, speaking into a radio on his shoulder. The officer approaches McLeod one last time before finally holstering his gun and crouching over the teen, presumably as he waits for backup to arrive.

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McLeod was taken to Northwest Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was shot in the abdomen three times, according to the medical examiner. Only the first shot is discernible in the video, which does not have sound.

In a statement released on Thursday, Baltimore County police said witnesses heard Earomirski telling McLeod to "stop," while McLeod shouted "profanities" back. On Friday, the account changed slightly: Police said witnesses heard the officer saying, "Don't do this!" and McLeod repeatedly telling him, "I'm going to kill you."

At a press conference on Friday, Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson called Earomirski "one of my finest officers." Earomirski has been placed on administrative leave, per department protocol. Police say they have opened a homicide investigation that will be reviewed the Baltimore County State's Attorney.

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