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State Won't Prosecute Baltimore Officers Who Shot, Killed Armed Man Near Inner Harbor Last Year

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby found three Baltimore officers legally justified in shooting and killing an armed man in a downtown parking garage last year, according to a newly released report.

Mosby based the decision on a review and investigation by her office of the shooting using video evidence and witness statements.

Benjamin Tyson, 35, was shot and killed by three officers on Feb. 25, 2021, at Market Place garage near the Inner Harbor after he withdrew and pointed a gun at the officers, according to the report. Tyson was being pursued in connection with a non-fatal shooting on Pratt Street.

That night, a person alerted officers on patrol in the area to a shooting that happened near East Pratt Street and Market Place. Tyson allegedly shot the man on Pratt Street after an argument and physical fight, according to the report.

One officer aided the victim while the other chased the suspect, police said. Backup arrived and the officers chased Tyson to the parking garage on the 600 block of East Lombard Street.

Based on officers' body camera footage, Mosby said Tyson did not comply with multiple commands by officers to stop and put his hands up. Tyson then withdrew and pointed a handgun at the officers.

The officers then fired at least 16 rounds at Tyson, striking him. He was transported to an area hospital, where he died.

According to Mosby's report, only after the suspect "failed to stop running, failed to comply with multiple commands to put his hands up, reached in his pocket to grab his handgun, pulled out a handgun, pointed the handgun at officers" were the officers left with lethal force as an option.

"The involved officers' decision to use lethal force under these circumstances is objectively reasonable," Mosby said.

The Attorney General's Office's Independent Investigations Division was formed in response to several police reform bills passed by the Maryland General Assembly last year, and is tasked with investigating deadly incidents involving police. The Baltimore SAO's investigation began before the state-led division was formed.

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