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Body worn camera footage, 911 tapes released in deadly police involved shooting on I-83

Posted at 2:16 PM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 18:18:44-05

BALTIMORE — Baltimore County Police on Thursday released a 12 minute and 32 second long video of a deadly officer involved shooting last year.

The first nearly six-minutes of the video covers the initial 911 call made by a mother who fears her son, Eric Sopp, may be suicidal.

She tells dispatchers that Sopp just drove away from the house drunk. The mother says she had Sopp's car keys, but he became violent and broke a phone when she wouldn't give them back.

The mother is heard telling dispatchers that Sopp picked up a log and was looking for a knife and even threatened to put an ice pick in his neck.

She added that Sopp had been drinking for a few days and wanted him found before he hurt himself or others. The mother feared Sopp may either drink himself to death or overdose on drugs.

The video then transitions over to when police officers are dispatched the call. Officers are relayed the same information for which the mother provided.

One officer then radios to dispatch and tells them he's behind the Sopp's car on Mt. Carmel Road. The officers then follow him onto southbound I-83 and eventually pull him over on the right shoulder before Belfast Road.

RELATED: One dead following police-involved shooting on I-83 Tuesday night

That's when the officer's body worn camera footage picks up and shows him approaching the vehicle from the right rear passenger's side, with his gun drawn.

The officer is heard knocking on the side of the car asking Sopp multiple times to show his hands and place them on the dashboard. The officer at first tells dispatch that Sopp is refusing his commands and still has the car in drive.

Seconds later Sopp puts the car in park, but refuses to turn the car off. That's when Sopp against officers orders gets out of the driver's seat. Within seconds, the officer fires multiple times striking him.

The officer then coordinates with other officers to check on Sopp and to make sure he has no weapons, which it turns out that he didn't.

Officer Page was the officer involved according to Baltimore County Police.

According to Police Chief Melissa Hyatt, an internal investigation is ongoing.

"The men and women in our police department encounter uncertain situations and make split-second decisions every day. Releasing video of someone losing his life is never taken lightly. The release of today’s video is in alignment with our recently announced BWC Release Policy and the Maryland Public Information Act. The internal investigation into this incident is ongoing."

Sopp's mother, Catherine released a statement on the video's release through her lawyers, Andrew D. Freeman and Chelsea J. Crawford.

“I never imagined that when I called 911 to protect my son and others from him driving drunk, it would cost him his life. There was no reason for the officer to shoot and kill him," said Catherine Sopp.

Freeman and Crawford also added Sopp's reaction to watching the video.

"Ms. Crawford observed that “the video shows an unnecessary use of force by the police officer. There was no excuse for this officer to shoot and kill an unarmed man.”