UPDATE: Police ID officers involved in Hyattsville shooting; Community meeting scheduled

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Michael Theis/Route 1 Reporter

A Mount Rainier police vehicle sits in a parking lot.

This story has been updated with information from the Mount Rainier Police Department.

Officials with the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Hyattsville City Police Department and the Mount Rainier Police Department have identified the officers who fired their guns during last week’s fatal police shooting of Leonard Shand. Those two departments accounted for nine of the ten officers who fired their weapons during the incident. Three of the officers involved worked for county police, while six were from the Hyattsville police department. A single officer from Mount Rainier was involved.

Both Prince George’s and Hyattsville’s police departments identified their involved officers in statements issued Friday. Mount Rainier city officials issued a statement Monday identifying its officer involved.

The Hyattsville officers involved are Corporal Jerry McCauley, Acting Lieutenant Zach Nemser, Acting Corporal Chris Evans, Private First Class Michael McQuade, Private First Class Scott Hall, Private First Class Mitchell Lowery, Detective and Private First Class Katelyn Koslosky, and Private First Class Kelly Hernandez. 

The Prince George’s County Police officers involved in this incident are Sergeant David Cheatham, Officer Dario Daniel and Officer Kesha Nsiah-Ababio.

The Mount Rainier officer involved in the shooting is Officer Damien Graham.

All the involved officers have been placed on administrative leave while police officials investigate the shooting.

PGPD to lead investigation of incident

Prince George’s County Police will head up the investigation into the incident, which will be handled by the county police’s Special Investigative Response Team. Their responsibilities are spelled out in PGPD’s General Order Manual (page 165 on this link). The team is responsible for, among other things, investigating all police involved shootings. 

While PGPD will lead the investigation, Mount Rainier Chief of Police Anthony Morgan said each involved agency will likely be issuing a report of its own. 

How much of those reports will be available for public disclosure is unknown at this point. Maryland state laws protect personnel performance records from public disclosure if they identify specific employees. Morgan said Friday portions of the reports, perhaps the conclusions, will likely be released publicly. 

So, why can police officers’ involvement in a police shooting be disclosed publicly, but the results of the investigation might be more restricted? According to Ken Sigman, Mount Rainier’s city attorney:

“The officer’s involvement is a factual matter, it does not relate to his performance, qualifications or conduct,” said Sigman in an email. 

Hyattsville officials react

In Hyattsville, city officials have scheduled a community meeting to discuss Shand’s death. The meeting will be held Oct. 1, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. at University Christian Church at 6800 Adelphi Road. 

“While there is an investigation underway, we want to give our community the opportunity to come together and have access to the highest levels of our city government,” wrote Mayor Candace Hollingsworth in a Facebook post announcing the meeting. “This community discussion is a priority for us as we continue to fully cooperate with the investigation.”

Ward Three Hyattsville City Councilor Ben Simasek, in a statement posted Thursday evening to a Hyattsville email listserv expressed sadness about the tragic turn of events.

“I feel sad for the trauma that may have led to this incident and the trauma that results from it. I haven’t seen dashboard or body cam video, but I want to express condolences to anyone feeling pain and fear as a result of this,” wrote Simasek. ”I also want to thank the HCPD officers committed to serving with the values of transparency, community engagement, de-escalation, and public safety.”

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