Who was Peyton Ham? Maryland teenager, 16, armed with knife and airsoft gun shot dead by state trooper
The male trooper shot Ham once before the teen stood back up wielding a knife, and when the trooper told the teenager to drop the knife, he allegedly refused
LEONARDTOWN, MARYLAND: A Maryland state trooper on Tuesday, April 13, fatally shot a 16-year-old boy who authorities say was armed with an airsoft gun and a knife. Peyton Ham was allegedly pointing the replica gun at the responding trooper, who believed it to be a real firearm during the 1.30 pm encounter in Leonardtown, a witness told police.
The police authorities received two 911 phone calls two minutes apart, reporting someone acting suspiciously who appeared to have a gun, Maryland State Police Superintendent Jerry Jones said. A trooper confronted a male subject armed with a knife and an airsoft gun that was a close replica of a handgun. The incident took place in a driveway in the 23000 block of Hollywood Road, Jones added.
The male trooper, whose identity has not been revealed yet, shot Ham once before the teen stood back up wielding a knife, another witness told police. The trooper told the teenager to drop the knife, but he refused. The trooper then fired another shot. The circumstances surrounding the shooting were revealed during a press briefing by the Maryland State Police on Tuesday, April 13, night. The teen was taken to MedStar St Mary’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Ham lived at a nearby home in the 23000 block of Hollywood Road.
“Any loss of life is a tragedy; this especially is a tragedy,” Jones said. “We take these very seriously. I certainly empathize with the family of this young man and what they’re feeling right now. I can’t even comprehend how sad this has got to be, and tragic, and we feel that. The investigators feel that.”
The trooper has been put on administrative leave while the investigation is going on. Passersby were told to expect road closures and heavy police presence.