Maryland state trooper fatally shoots 16-year-old

A teenaged boy shot and killed just south of Baltimore had a knife and what was later discovered to be an airsoft gun.

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A 16-year-old was shot and killed just south of Baltimore by a Maryland state trooper after authorities responded to calls of a man acting suspiciously with what looked like a gun. 

The teenaged boy — since identified as Peyton Ham — reportedly had a knife and what was later discovered to be an airsoft gun. 

Maryland State Police officials update Leonardtown media about the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Peyton Ham on Tuesday. (WBAL)

“A Maryland state trooper from the Leonardtown Barrack has been involved in a shooting after responding to a call for an individual who was possibly armed with a gun,” a statement posted to Facebook read in part. 

Leonardtown is 86 miles south of Baltimore.

According to a local report, a witness told investigators that Ham assumed “a shooting stance” and pointed a gun at the trooper, who then shot at him and wounded him. 

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A second witness said Ham tried to get up after being wounded still armed with a knife; the trooper reportedly ordered him to drop the knife before he fired again. 

The 16-year-old was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

“Any loss of life is a tragedy; this especially is a tragedy,” Maryland State Police Superintendent Jerry Jones said. “We take these very seriously. I certainly empathize with the family of this young man and what they’re feeling right now. I can’t even comprehend how sad this has got to be, and tragic, and we feel that. The investigators feel that.”

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The trooper has yet to be identified.

The shooting comes just days after the shooting of 20-year-old, unarmed Daunte Wright on Sunday in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Wright was pulled over for having an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror and expired registration tags. 

Police authorities are maintaining that 26-year veteran officer Kim Potter fired her gun instead of her taser when trying to arrest Wright for outstanding traffic ticket fines. Potter and Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon have both resigned. 

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