BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The Harford County State's Attorney will not seek criminal charges against deputies who shot and killed a 53-year-old man in Bel Air last April, according to the Harford County Sheriff's Office.
States Attorney Albert Peisinger said he reviewed body-worn camera footage, dash camera recordings, witness interviews and other materials in his decision, but the Attorney General's Office said its own investigation in the shooting includes information that has not yet been requested or reviewed" by Peisinger's office.
Established in response to 2021 police reforms, the attorney general's Independent Investigations Division is tasked with investigating all civilian deaths at the hands of law enforcement.
According to Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, deputies responded to a report on April 23 that a suicidal man with a long gun was in the Bel Air area. The deputies allegedly had phone conversations with the man and searched for him for about an hour before finding him near a convenience store.
Gahler did not say what prompted the deputies to open fire. The man, identified as John Raymond Fauver, was taken to a hospital, where he died. The two deputies who opened fire were placed on leave after the shooting.
Peisinger said he concluded the deputies' use of force was both necessary, proportional and not unreasonable. Additionally, Peisinger said he categorized the shooting as "suicide by law enforcement."
Sheriff Gahler was ordered in late April to hand over evidence in the shooting to the Attorney General's office after he initially refused to cooperate with the state investigators.
The sheriff did not appeal the restraining order keeping him from interfering in the state's investigation, but accused Attorney General Frosh of using the case as "political fodder."
The Independent Investigations Division said Wednesday its investigation is ongoing and it "will continue to complete a thorough, independent investigation, as the Maryland legislature has charged us to do."
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