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P.G. police shooting may have been accidental

Incident sparked internal investigation

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A police-involved shooting that spawned an internal investigation after video evidence contradicted a version of events given by the officer might have been accidental, Prince George's County police said.

The department is not counting the Feb. 3 incident involving Cpl. Donald Taylor as a departmental shooting, officials said.

"It appears that it may be an accidental discharge," police spokesman Capt. Steven Yuen said. "We define a departmental shooting as an intentional discharge of a firearm at somebody."

Cpl. Taylor's handgun was fired during an interaction with Ryan Keith Dorm, 19, outside a Brentwood gas station. No one was struck by the gunfire.

Initially, police said Cpl. Taylor feared Mr. Dorm was trying to take control of his gun and fired the weapon but later said surveillance video that captured the shooting did not "support the initial version of events" reported. The officer thought Mr. Dorm and another man might have robbed the store and went to confront them, police said at the time.

Until now, police have not offered any additional information about the circumstances that led to the shooting or how the interactions on the surveillance video differed from the account given by officers.

After the surveillance footage was reviewed, some of the charges against Mr. Dorm were dropped. The charges dropped, which included assault on a law-enforcement officer, were those related to interactions with Cpl. Taylor, said Prince George's County state's attorney's office spokesman John Erzen. Pending assault charges against Mr. Dorm are those related to another officer.

An attorney listed as representing Mr. Dorm could not be reached Wednesday.

Cpl. Taylor remains on administrative leave as police and the Prince George's County state's attorney's office review the incident.

"We have not yet determined if any charges will be filed against him," Mr. Erzen said.

After an officer-involved shooting left one man dead this week, police officials said the department had three departmental shootings so far in 2012. But police corrected that account, stating that by excluding the Feb. 3 shooting involving Cpl. Taylor, the number of departmental shootings this year is two.

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