A 16-year-old is dead after police believed he was pointing a gun and wielding a knife just a few steps away from the Maryland State Police barrack in Leonardtown.
Peyton Ham, who lived in Leonardtown close to where the incident occurred, was taken to MedStar St. Mary's Hospital after being shot by a state trooper at about 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, State Police Secretary Col. Woodrow W. Jones said at a press conference at the police station, and was later pronounced deceased.
Jones spelled the person's name as "Pehton Ham" during the conference.
Police had received two separate 911 calls regarding Ham prior to the incident, where one caller said there was a "guy acting suspicious" who he said he believed had a gun before disconnecting, and another who lived near the barrack who said the same, Jones said.
The gun was revealed to be an Airsoft-type gun, which typically shoot plastic projectiles, after the shooting.
A trooper arrived and saw Ham holding what appeared to be a gun and a knife, Jones said, and a witness reported the trooper fired once after seeing Ham enter a shooting stance.
After the first shot, investigators believe Ham pulled out a knife and attempted to get up, Jones said. The trooper told him to drop the knife before he fired again. And then the trooper, who was not immediately identified by the agency, reported the shooting.
Jones said EMS and state troopers attempted lifesaving measures before Ham was transported to MedStar St. Mary's Hospital.
"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," Jones said. "A knife was also recovered at the scene."
The officer has been placed on administrative leave while investigations continue.
As part of the State Police's procedure, Jones said, the investigation will be submitted to the St. Mary's County State's Attorney's Office for review when it is complete. An administrative investigation is also ongoing.