Montgomery County

Officer Fatally Shot Man Who Lunged at Him With Knife During Bike Theft Investigation, Police Say

A Montgomery County police officer who was responding to the report of a bike theft fatally shot a man who allegedly lunged at him with a knife Monday night, police said.

The man who was killed, Richard Alexander Tilley, 28, was the one who had reported the theft, police said. 

Montgomery County police said in statements Tuesday that Officer Matthew McGowan responded to 10022 Stedwick Road in Montgomery Village about 10:55 p.m. Monday for the report of a bike theft that had occurred earlier.

Police said he spoke with Tilley, the complainant, at the scene. The officer investigated the theft and gathered information for the next 17 minutes, police said.

But according to police, McGowan's body camera showed that as he was giving Tilley the police report number, Tilley "suddenly and without provocation" pulled out a knife and lunged at the officer. 

McGowan tried to defend himself from the attack and fell to the ground as Tilley continued to assault him, police said. McGowan then fired his weapon several times and struck Tilley.

Robin Hatfield, who lives in the neighborhood, said she heard four or five gunshots.

"I heard the gunshots, and I ran into the hallway, because I didn't know if something was going to come in," Hatfield said. 

When first responders arrived, they provided first aid to Tilley and also assisted McGowan, police said. Tilley was taken to a hospital, where he died. 

Police said McGowan, who has been with the department for five years, has been placed on paid administrative leave. 

Detectives are continuing to investigate. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 240-773-5070.

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