Prosecutors clear Coppin State University officer in shooting

Prosecutors have cleared a Coppin State University police officer of criminal charges in the shooting death of a man who opened fire near the school's campus in December.

Carroll County State's Attorney Brian L. DeLeonardo said the officer who fired "did so based upon a reasonable belief that 18-year-old Lavar Montray Douglas was an imminent danger of causing death or serious injury to the public at large."


"His quick and lawful action very well could have saved lives that day," DeLeonardo said in a statement.

The Baltimore state's attorney's office asked DeLeonardo to review the case because of an undisclosed conflict of interest.


The officer has not been identified by Coppin State police, and was not identified by Carroll prosecutors Thursday.

Police said Douglas got out of a sedan at Windsor and North Warwick avenues just before 7 p.m. Dec. 13 and immediately began firing a semiautomatic handgun at a vehicle driving south on Warwick.

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The Coppin officer happened to be in an unmarked car directly behind Douglas' vehicle and shot the gunman, police said.

Investigators recovered seven shell casings from the .380-caliber handgun Douglas was carrying, police said.

Prosecutors took just weeks to clear the officer of criminal wrongdoing. The Baltimore Sun reported last month that a majority of shootings by police over the past 16 months remain under review.

The Coppin shooting is the second police shooting Baltimore prosecutors have asked Carroll County prosecutors to review.

Carroll prosecutors also cleared a city officer of criminal wrongdoing in a shooting in January 2016. That review took about four months.

Attempts to reach family of Douglas were not successful.