A report from the Maryland Attorney General’s Office found that officers were not in the path of a car driven by a fleeing suspect when a Baltimore County detective shot into the vehicle at a White Marsh gas station earlier this year.
State law stipulates that a police officer is justified in using deadly force when an imminent threat is posed to them or others, such as being in the path of a moving vehicle, according to the investigation. However, the report says, at the time of the shooting, McCourry’s vehicle was not hitting a police vehicle or reversing toward any officers, and “there was no one in the Kia’s path of travel” as he attempted to evade police.
There was also no indication either McCourry or a female passenger was armed, the report said.
Last month, Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said his office will not prosecute Detective Jonathan Trenary, who shot into McCourry’s car.
The report from the attorney general’s Independent Investigations Division (IID) used video surveillance footage, witness testimony and Baltimore County Police records to reconstruct the events that led up to the shooting.
The day of the shooting, members of the Baltimore County Police Department’s Criminal Apprehension Support Team (CAST) had been surveilling McCourry and an unnamed Dundalk woman due to their alleged involvement in two prior shootings and had separate outstanding warrants for their arrest.
When police surrounded the couple’s Kia Sportage at a Royal Farms gas station, McCourry drove forward and hit an empty police vehicle, then reversed toward officers standing behind the car. While other officers moved away from the vehicle, Trenary moved toward the reversing Kia as McCourry again hit the same police vehicle and began to drive away. Soon after, the detective reached the side of the car and opened fire into the Kia’s driver side window, the report said.
Trenary was involved in another shooting in April 2022. He was one of four CAST detectives who shot and injured 19-year-old Shane Radomski in his vehicle. Video of the shooting obtained by The Baltimore Sun showed Radomski’s sedan hit an unmarked police cruiser before reversing. Officers then fired through his windshield, leaving Radomski seriously injured, according to The Sun.
Shellenberger referred the case to a grand jury, which ultimately decided that the shooting was justified.
Over his 16-year law enforcement career thus far, Trenary has faced five disciplinary complaints or internal affairs records, the report said. In four of those incidents, his actions were found to be “sustained” and further review by the Independent Investigations Division concluded that the four prior events were not relevant to the McCourry shooting.
The IID investigates all Maryland police killings or incidents where injuries “are likely to result in the death of a civilian,” the report said. As a result of these investigations, the IID sends its findings in a report to the state’s attorney of the county that has prosecutorial jurisdiction.
Once the state’s attorney decides whether or not to prosecute, the report can be released to the public. However, under a new law that goes into effect on Oct. 1, the unit will be able to prosecute the cases it also investigates.