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State Investigators Release Body Camera Footage From Fatal Essex Police Shooting

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The Maryland Attorney General's Office on Thursday released body camera footage from a Baltimore County Police shooting in which an armed suspect was killed in Essex last May.

Ralph Picarello III, 39, was shot and killed by police after he had picked up two knives and "moved quickly towards officers" after being instructed to drop the blades, according to the Office of the Attorney General.

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. The division will try to release the footage within 14 days, but sometimes they withhold the video for longer to continue conducting interviews.

Warning: This video contains graphic content that may be disturbing to viewers.

Officials said police were called to the home in the 900 block of Boundbrook Way about 4 p.m. for a report of a domestic disturbance. The caller reported Picarello was throwing items at a family member, and at one point held a knife to a family member and himself, investigators said.

The footage shows officers on the scene talking to the man, who initially explained the cause of the argument to officers from a kitchen, and asked that nobody touch him.

If anybody comes near me, I will go into defense mode," Picarello said in the footage.

When an officer told Picarello he would be transported from the home, he picked up a knife and a carving fork and did not comply with requests to drop them. Two officers shot at the man after he moved toward them, while another officer used a stun gun, investigators said.

The officers rendered aid to Picarello until EMS arrived, but were also shown to handcuff him after he was shot. Picarello was pronounced dead at the scene, and no other injuries were reported.

Investigators identified the two officers who opened fire by their first initials and last names, D. Manning and E. Pellegrino of the Baltimore County Police Department.

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