The Baltimore County State’s Attorney Office says it will not criminally charge county cops who fatally shot a man 11 times in a Towson apartment building last year, “dragged” his body into the hallway and failed to provide him medical aid after he shot and injured a woman and an officer, according to state investigators.

The prosecutors’ decision follows a Tuesday report by the Maryland Attorney General’s Independent Investigations Division that found Joseph Robert Henry Thompson, 66, fired one round at police from the doorway of his Virginia Avenue apartment June 4, striking an officer’s right hand, before three police officers returned fire, killing him.

Then, police officers “dragged Mr. Thompson by his ankle from the door of the apartment into the common hallway, allowing other officers to go inside,” handcuffed him, “then checked for a pulse.”

“After the shooting, officers did not render medical aid to Mr. Thompson,” investigators said.

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In a letter dated Jan. 13, Deputy State’s Attorney John Cox wrote to interim Baltimore County Police Chief Dennis Delp that the prosecutors’ office would not pursue criminal charges against the police officers who responded to a report of “unknown trouble” at the apartment complex.

Police arrived at the apartment building around 8:40 p.m., responding to a report that a woman on an upper floor could be heard screaming, “Someone call 911″ before there was a “loud bang,” according to the Independent Investigations Division, which investigates incidents involving police action that result in fatal or life-threatening injuries to a civilian.

Thompson held a gun as he answered the four police officers, who trained their rifles and handguns on Thompson’s front door, according to the report. After one of the officers, identified by investigators as Officer. Kralick, told Thompson to let him “see his hands,” the AG’s office said Thompson fired one round and struck Kralick in the hand, prompting three other officers — identified as Klapka, Johnson and Fitzgerald — to return fire.

Police shot Thompson, who was Black, 11 times in the abdomen, upper back, buttocks and all four extremities; Klapka fired four rounds, Johnson fired six and Fitzgerald fired one, according to investigators. Before medics arrived, a policeman identified as Officer Mabry “dragged” Thompson’s body into the hallway. Medics who arrived a half-hour after Thompson was shot pronounced him dead at the scene.

The woman inside the apartment told investigators that Thompson shot her in the leg and head after she went to his apartment to end their romantic relationship. She was hospitalized in critical condition for weeks.

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County salary records list police officers first class Nicholas Mabry; David Kralick; Cody Klapka; and Robert Fitzgerald. Mabry, Klapka and Fitzgerald joined the department in 2018, according to salary records. The Police Department hired Kralick in January 2021.

Cox wrote that after reviewing involved officers’ body-worn camera footage and the IID report, which the division delivered to the prosecutors’ office Dec. 27, he sees “no basis for any criminal charges against any of the officers involved in this incident.”

Online court records list two misdemeanor charges filed by Wicomico County prosecutors against Thompson, who was found guilty of narcotics possession with intent to distribute in 1987. State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said Thompson was also found guilty in 2010 of illegally possessing a firearm.

In three of the past five years for which data is available, more civilians have died in Baltimore County Police custody than any other Maryland jurisdiction, according to state reports compiling “deaths involving a law enforcement officer.” Eight people died in county police custody in 2021; eight people in 2019; and six people in 2018.

The Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth and Victim Services has not yet released a report on 2022 civilian deaths in police custody.

taylor.deville@thebaltimorebanner.com

Taylor DeVille covered Baltimore County government for The Baltimore Banner with a focus on the County Executive, County Council, accountability and quality of life issues affecting suburban residents. Before joining The Banner, Taylor covered Baltimore County government and breaking news for The Baltimore Sun. 

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