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Officers justified in deadly shooting that followed multi-state high speed chase

Frederick County deputies shoot, kill fugitive following multi-state chase
Posted at 1:50 PM, Jan 04, 2021

FREDERICK, Md. — Four officers were justified when they fired their guns at two fugitives, leaving one dead, last October following a multi-state high speed chase.

At the time he was killed, Bryan Selmer along with David Leatherman were fleeing York County, Pennsylvania over their ties to an attempted murder investigation.

The State's Attorney's Office said the men purposely swerved off Route 15, nearly striking the deputies as they attempted to deploy stop sticks during the chase.

Throughout, the men also fired multiple gunshots at the deputies pursuing them.

After their truck became disabled, each suspect ran in different directions on Route 15.

Leatherman was arrested first with no firearm in his possession, but not before a Frederick County deputy and Pennsylvania trooper opened fire under the belief they were being shot at.

Turns out Leatherman had run into a backyard toward a 15-year-old boy wearing similar clothes.

One deputy told investigators he began shooting after seeing “splashes” in the dirt where he thought Leatherman had been standing, when in actuality it was the child who had fallen down a hill.

Another officer heard these gunshots, causing him to shoot, also wrongly assuming it was Leatherman firing.

At some point while the two officers were firing, a third officer had already taken Leatherman into custody after he too had fallen down the hill.

No one was struck or injured during that exchange.

Prosecutors declined to press charges against those officers, chalking their actions up to "an honest and reasonable mistake of fact."

As for Selmer, prosecutors interviewed multiple witnesses who claimed he suddenly stopped, turned around and raised his arms as if he were getting ready to shoot at the deputies giving chase. Two deputies reacted by fatally shooting him.

RELATED: Police shoot, kill fugitive following multi-state chase

No one else was hurt during that exchange, although multiple rounds went through the Exxon nearly striking a clerk.

A deputy apparently saw Selmer throw something into the woods during the foot chase. Later that night prosecutors say a loaded gun was found in the grass 10-15 feet to the front of the suspects disabled vehicle.

Read the State's Attorney's entire investigative reports below.