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No Charges Filed Against Montgomery County Police Officer Who Fatally Shot Knife-Wielding Man

SILVER SPRING, Md. (WJZ) -- The Montgomery County police officer who fatally shot a knife-wielding man earlier this year will not be charged, officials announced Friday.

Sgt. David Cohen had been placed on administrative leave after fatally shooting 30-year-old Finan Berhe on May 7.

The shooting happened in the 1500 block of Hadden Manor Court in White Oak. Officers were called to the area for a report of a man with a large knife.


After arriving at the scene, Cohen found Berhe with the knife.

finan berhe fatal police-involved shooting moco
A screenshot from the body-worn camera footage from Montgomery County Police Sgt. David Cohen shows the moments before Cohen fatally shot Finan Berhe. Berhe, who was reportedly armed with a knife when he charged at Cohen, later died at an area hospital. Credit: Montgomery County Police Department

Body-worn camera video of the incident showed Cohen yelling at Berhe to drop the knife. "I don't want to shoot you," he said.

Berhe then charged at Cohen, at which time the sergeant fired five shots, three of which hit Berhe. Berhe died at an area hospital.

NOTE: The video is available on the Montgomery County Police Department's Twitter page (click here). Viewer discretion is advised.

The Howard County State's Attorney's Office reviewed the case and determined Cohen's actions were reasonable under the circumstances.

Despite reports that Berhe was suffering a mental breakdown at the time of the incident, officials said there was no concrete evidence showing he was in distress or being treated for mental health concerns.

Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones said the department will now conduct an internal investigation to see if Cohen followed proper procedures.

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