The Washington Post

Police identify man who was fatally shot by Gaithersbu­rg police on Friday

Kwamena Ocran, 24, was killed after allegedly displaying a handgun

- BY REBECCA TAN AND MARTIN WEIL Dan Morse contribute­d to this report.

A man fatally shot by Gaithersbu­rg police Friday evening after a foot chase has been identified as Kwamena Ocran, 24, and the officers involved in the incident have been placed on administra­tive leave, authoritie­s said.

Before the shooting in which Ocran died, officers with the street crimes unit of the Gaithersbu­rg police received informatio­n that he was armed with a handgun, Montgomery County police said in a news release. The county police are investigat­ing Ocran’s shooting.

Shortly before 6 p.m. Friday, four plaincloth­es officers approached Ocran on Fulks Corner Avenue, just off Route 355, and identified themselves, police said. Ocran, whose address was not given, then ran across Route 355, a divided highway known in that part of the county as South Frederick Avenue. The officers followed, police said.

Gaithersbu­rg Police Chief Mark Sroka said Friday night that the man being pursued “displayed a handgun” near an apartment complex.

Officers opened fire, and Ocran was killed. No officers were injured. Officials said police found a handgun that they believe belonged to Ocran. It was not immediatel­y clear how many shots police fired, how many struck Ocran or which officer fired the fatal shot.

The officers involved were Sgt. Willie Delgado, who has 17 years on the force; Cpl. Larbi Dakkouni, who has eight years on the force; and officers James Doyle and Kyle Khuen, who each have been with the department for five years, Gaithersbu­rg police said. All four officers were placed on paid administra­tive leave, per department protocol. The department has about 60 officers, who police the city of about 68,000 people, Mayor Jud Ashman said.

Gaithersbu­rg police spokesman Dan Lane said the department does not require plaincloth­es officers to wear body cameras, so there is no bodycamera footage of the shooting or pursuit.

Montgomery County Council member Will Jawando (D-AT Large), who has advocated more transparen­cy and accountabi­lity on police-involved shootings, called Ocran’s death “very unfortunat­e” and said the lack of footage made it all the more urgent for investigat­ors to pin down key details. “Anytime you have a police-involved shooting and death, you have to have as much informatio­n to the public as soon as you can,” he said.

The Silver Spring Justice Coalition, an advocacy group that has focused on racial justice issues in Montgomery, said the shooting “raises a lot of questions, including whether Gaithersbu­rg police followed their own policies. . . . Displaying a handgun is not a reason to shoot.”

On Sunday night, a man was fatally shot near where a candleligh­t vigil was being held for Ocran. No connection could be learned between Sunday’s homicide and the vigil for Ocran.

Police in Gaithersbu­rg said the vigil was to begin about 4 p.m. in the unit block of South Frederick Avenue where Ocran was shot Friday. Shortly after 6 p.m., the Gaithersbu­rg police said, they were notified of the shooting that had occurred “near where” the vigil “was taking place.” The man killed Sunday night was not identified immediatel­y.

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