A Montgomery County police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man after a confrontation in Silver Spring, Maryland will not be charged, investigators said.
The Howard County State's Attorney's office determined that Officer Anand Badgujar was justified in shooting 41-year-old Silver Spring resident Robert Lawrence White.
White, who was African American, died on June 11 after Badgujar shot him multiple times. Witnesses reported hearing five or six shots, News4 reported.
Police said that body camera footage from two officers shows White persistently attacking the officer. After reviewing the body camera footage, witness statements and cell phone video from witnesses, The Howard County State's Attorney's office says investigators unanimously cleared Badjugar of wrongdoing.
Montgomery County police say the footage from both cameras will be released to the public later this week.
Representatives from the police department traveled to North Carolina to meet with White's family members on Monday, police said.
According to police, Badgujar responded to an unrelated 911 hang-up call in the 9100 block of 3 Oaks Drive, off Sligo Creek Parkway. Badgujar cleared the scene and then encountered a "suspicious person" in the 9200 block of 3 Oaks Drive, police said in a statement. He requested assistance as he investigated.
Following the shooting, police said the officer initially tried to speak with White, but "the man became combative and a physical altercation occurred," the statement said. Badgujar first responded by trying to pepper-spray White, police said.
White began to walk away and Badgujar headed to turn off his car. Police said White then charged at Badgujar, knocking him over. As Badgujar fell, he fired his weapon and White fell to the ground.
Badgujar remained on the ground as White stood up and continued the assault, police said. Badgujar then fired more shots, and White collapsed to the ground, according to police.
About two minutes later, an officer who had arrived to help Badgujar used a police radio to report that shots had been fired and medics were needed.
Dramatic cell phone video taken by a witness and obtained by News4 shows one officer held a gun on White as he lay on the ground, wounded but apparently breathing.
A second officer then said, "Turn around. Turn around, man."
The man didn't move, video shows. The officers turned the man around, handcuffed him and performed first aid.
Police were called to the scene, which is about a mile northeast of downtown Silver Spring, about 2:15 p.m.
White was taken to a hospital, where he died.
Some witnesses and neighbors questioned the circumstances of the shooting.
"He sounded hopeless, honestly. He said 'Don't do it, don't do it.' We heard his last words and that's really, like, shaking," another witness said.
Michael Franz, White's neighbor, said White was never aggressive and would walk around the neighborhood daily for exercise to cope with personal issues.
"It's not impossible to understand how he may have seemed suspicious given that he had no specific business in any of the places through which he was passing on foot," Michael Franz, a neighbor said. "At the same time, none of us ever saw any aggresivity on his part."
"He was always very genial and warm," Franz said. "It seems like quite probably a tragic misunderstanding and an exceedingly sad outcome."
It's standard procedure for the Howard County State's Attorney's Office to investigate when Montgomery County police are involved in shootings.