A Montgomery County sheriff’s deputy will not be charged by Maryland prosecutors in the fatal shooting last year of a man who witnesses said came at the deputy while holding up a large kitchen knife, according to an interim report released Wednesday by the state Attorney General’s Office.
“The available evidence, therefore, supports Deputy Mash’s account that Mr. Delcheh came towards Deputy Mash with the knife raised threateningly,” the report concluded. “In these circumstances, it is unlikely the state could prove that deadly force was not necessary or disproportionate to the threat posed by Mr. Delcheh.”
Earlier: Deputy kills man armed with ‘large knife,’ officials say
The task force members weren’t wearing body cameras, according to the report. But investigators reviewed part of the encounter captured on surveillance video, and spoke with Mash, five other officers who saw the incident, and two civilian witnesses. Investigators determined the two men were within several feet of each other when Mash fired his weapon eight times, striking Delcheh four times, according to their findings.
Richard Finci, an attorney who represented Delcheh, called the encounter a tragedy. Delcheh suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was enrolled in Montgomery County’s Mental Health Court, according to Finci.
As such, Delcheh should not have been pursued by a task force designed to go after dangerous fugitives, Finci said. “Having that team get involved in this was excessive,” he said. “They may have escalated his behavior.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation also examined the shooting because Mash was part of the federal task force, according to the Maryland Attorney General’s Office. The AG’s office said it continues to wait for ballistics analysis from the FBI, and will supplement its interim report when it receives the analysis.
The FBI office in Baltimore declined to comment.
Source: Washington Post
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