The Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office Declines To Charge Two Police Officers In Shooting

Police shot at 15 year old by stander














Frederick, Md (KM) No criminal charges will be brought against a Frederick County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Pennsylvania State Trooper involved in a police shooting last October. That’s the conclusion of the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office investigation.

The State’s Attorney released its report on Wednesday.  It highlights the apprehension of  David Leatherman at 47 Park Drive in Emmitsburg. The suspects identified as Leatherman and Bryan Selmer were fleeing from police after their car wrecked.   In the backyard at the home, a 15-year-old boy and a 13-year-old were standing on the side of Route 15.  Leatherman ran directly toward them.  The 15-year-old pushed the 13-year-old out of the way.

A Sheriff’s Deputy saw Leatherman fleeing, and went after him, toward the back yard of 47  Park Drive, where the suspect went behind some foliage, according to the report.  The deputy saw the 15-year-old, and mistook him for Leatherman.  He fired a total of five shots at the 15-year-old from his service revolver.  The 15-year-old took cover behind a tree.

An officer located Leatherman who had fallen down a hill.  The officer jumped on top of Leatherman,

Meanwhile, the report says, the Pennsylvania State Trooper got out of his patrol car, and fired three rounds at the 15-year-old.  No other weapons were discharged after that.

Leatherman did not have a firearm when he was apprehended, but a handgun was found at the scene later in the evening.

:Leatherman was wanted in Pennsylvania for attempted murder.  He and Selmer were fleeing from police in a high-speed chase which started in  Pennsylvania and  had crossed into Maryland.

The State’s Attorney’s report says the Deputy was interviewed, and he said he believed he was firing at Leatherman.  He said he saw “splashes” of dirt where Leatherman was. But a view of his dash cam video indicated Leatherman would not have been visible to the Deputy.

“Based on the totality of the evidence provided  to the State, it has been concluded that Deputy 1 was fire at BM {the 15-year-old},” the report concluded.

The Pennsylvania State Trooper was also interviewed.  He said he got out of  his patrol car after  hearing shots which he thought  came from Leatherman.  He said he fired in self-defense at Leatherman, believing he was being shot at.  But the report says a review of dash cam video determined that Leatherman was not visible to the trooper.

“Based on the totality of evidence provide to the State, it has been concluded that Trooper 1 was also firing at BM {The 15-year-old},” the report says.

The State’s Attorney’s Office concludes in its report that “while the use of deadly force by Deputy 1 and Trooper 1 against BM {the 15-year-old} was nonprivileged, the State could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that their mistake was objectively unreasonable under very specific circumstances.  For this reason, the FCSAO declines to bring criminal charges against Deputy 1 and Trooper !,” the report says.

The State’s Attorney’s also investigated the  police-involved fatal shooting of Selmer along Silo Hill Parkway, and decided not to file criminal charges against the law enforcement officers involved in that incident.

These conclusions do not limit administrative actions by the Frederick County  Sheriff’s Office or the Pennsylvania State Police, the report says.


By Kevin McManus