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A Montgomery County deputy sheriff fatally shot a man who was behaving “erratically” and started swinging a large piece of wood at the deputy, according to the county Sheriff’s Office.
The incident occurred around 8 a.m. Saturday after the man was reportedly driving “erratically” on Olney Laytonsville Road, or MD-108, from Laytonsville.
Sheriff Darren Popkin said during a press conference on Saturday afternoon that the man, who was driving a sedan, nearly drove into another car, which was able to swerve out of the way but crashed into a telephone pole.
He continued driving on Olney Laytonsville Road and drove into the front end of another car, before he got out of his vehicle and tried to attack the people in the car that he hit. He was reportedly swinging a large piece of wood, Popkin said.
A deputy sheriff, who was on his way to work for a supervisory shift, arrived “minutes” after Fire and Rescue arrived on the scene of the first crash, officials said. It is not known whether he happened on the scene or if he heard the 911 call dispatch.
When the deputy sheriff got out of his car, the man approached him and started swinging the piece of wood at him, Popkin said. The officer tried to use his Tazer but it is being investigated whether the Tazer was activated.
When the Tazer did not stop the attack, the deputy sheriff fatally shot the man who was pronounced dead at the scene.
“He did attempt to use a Tazer. It’s still a little bit early in the investigation whether the Tazer was deployed, activated or if it didn’t catch,” Popkin said. “We do know the Tazer was out of the holder.”
The deputy sheriff was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries by an ambulance and is expected to be released later today .
Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones said during the press conference that the man is still being identified and officials do not know why he was behaving and driving erratically.