MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Maryland (WDVM) – Police Chief Marcus Jones held a press conference Monday after an officer shooting.
On Friday, July 16, employees at a McDonald’s on Flower Hill Way in Gaithersburg called 911 because a customer refused to pay in the drive through.
When the officers arrived, they found a pistol in the passenger seat. They told the driver to get out, he disobeyed and ended up in a de-escalation and negotiation phase that lasted almost 30 minutes. The officers said it looked like the driver had the gun in hand and aimed at it and they shot back.
Community members, including the victim’s father, are skeptical of the investigators’ report. The father, who was able to check the body camera footage, said it was not entirely clear whether his son was holding a gun.
“We as cops hopefully never fire our guns and use deadly force,” Jones said during the press conference. “Our hearts go out to Mr. Ryan Lerouz’s family, just as our officer responded to the call on Friday night.”
A group of demonstrators were banned from attending the press conference. They informed WDVM 25 that they had been told by officials that the room was being used to full capacity. Apparently they were also told that if more space became available, they would be allowed into the room, but that didn’t happen either.
“They tend to be non-transparent and non-accountable,” said Bob Veiga of the Silver Spring Justice Coalition.
Police say they will release the body cam footage when the investigation is over.