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Maryland State Police News Release

Trooper-Involved Fatal Shooting Investigation Underway In St. Mary’s Co.

(LEONARDTOWN, MD) – Maryland State Police are continuing an investigation into a trooper-involved fatal shooting that occurred this afternoon in St. Mary’s County. 

The deceased individual is identified as Peyton Ham, 16, of Leonardtown, Md.  He was transported from the scene to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

The trooper involved is a uniformed patrol trooper assigned to the Leonardtown Barrack.  He has been a Maryland state trooper for two years and seven months. 

According to the preliminary investigation, just before 1:30 p.m. today, two separate 911 calls were received at the Maryland State Police Leonardtown Barrack.  The first call was from a male who gave a phone number instead of an address.  He reported to the dispatcher that there was a guy acting suspicious who he thinks has a gun.  The dispatcher asked for his location, but the call was disconnected.

Two minutes later, a second 911 call is received from a male who gives a street address in the 23000-block of Hollywood Road, just down the street from the barrack.  The caller said a guy was acting suspicious and he thinks he has a gun.  He hangs up and does not give a name.

The preliminary investigation indicates that within minutes, a uniformed Maryland state trooper arrived at the location and confronted a male in the driveway.  The male, later identified as Peyton Ham, was armed with a gun and a knife.  A witness told investigators they saw the individual in the driveway in what the witness described as a shooting stance, pointing a gun at the trooper.  The trooper fired at Ham, wounding him.

A second witness told investigators that after the trooper fired the first time, they saw the male pull out a knife and try to get up.  The trooper ordered him to drop the knife, before he fired again.  

The trooper reported the shooting and called for EMS.  Aid was rendered to Ham by troopers and sheriff’s deputies until EMS arrived.

The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit is on the scene and is conducting a criminal investigation.  This is procedure in all trooper-involved shootings.  Investigators are continuing to interview witnesses at this time.

Maryland State Police crime scene technicians responded and are processing the scene.  A gun was recovered at the scene.  It has been determined to be an airsoft gun that is a close representation of an actual handgun.  A knife was also recovered at the scene.  An autopsy of the deceased will be conducted at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore. 

The trooper involved was not injured.  He has been placed on administrative leave pending the ongoing investigation. This is procedure in trooper-involved shootings. 

Upon completion of the criminal investigation, it will be presented to the St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for review.  The St. Mary’s County deputy state’s attorney responded to the scene and has been briefed by investigators

In addition, the Maryland State Police Internal Affairs Division will be conducting an administrative investigation.  This is also procedure.

The investigation is continuing.