Update: Office of the State’s Attorney for Howard County Concludes MCP Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation at Domestic-Related Barricade

The Police Department has been notified by the Office of the State’s Attorney for Howard County* that they have concluded their independent review and investigation of the Montgomery County Police Department’s officer-involved shooting that occurred on Monday, July 23, 2018 and resulted in the death of Jean Carlos Natera-Perez, also known as Jean Perez.  Based on a review of evidence and a review of the law, the Office of the State’s Attorney’s for Howard County determined that Montgomery County Police Officer Edward Cochran’s actions were justified under the circumstances (please see the letter from the Office of the State’s Attorney for Howard County below).

{*An established agreement between the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office stipulates that when an officer-involved shooting involving injury or death occurs in one county, the other county’s State’s Attorney’s Office will review the event.}

The investigation of this incident revealed that on Monday, July 23, at approximately 7:57 p.m., 3rd District officers responded to the report of an assault at a townhouse in the 2800 block of Mozart Drive in the Fairland area. The first call to 911 was reported to be a woman screaming. The call taker heard a male voice state, “I will (expletive) kill you,” and the line was then disconnected.  (Two additional calls were made to 911 – one call from the adult male victim and another call from a neighbor).

Click here to listen to audio of the female victim’s call to 911.

As the first officer arrived at the Mozart Drive home, he observed Mr. Perez standing in the townhome doorway, with blood on his clothing and holding a knife.  The officer called for Mr. Perez to exit the home.  Mr. Perez stepped back into the residence and shut the front door.

Click here to view body-worn camera footage from the first officer on the scene as he arrives to the townhome community.

A female, later identified as a resident of the home and Mr. Perez’ ex-girlfriend, was standing outside in front the house.  She immediately advised the officer that her three-year-old son was still in the residence.  Officers also learned from the female that Mr. Perez was the father of the child in the residence.  The female further stated that prior to police arrival, Mr. Perez had entered the residence unannounced and without permission (Mr. Perez did not live in the home) and had confronted her and her boyfriend.  Mr. Perez threw a bottle at the male as the male fled from the home.  As the female called 911 on her cellular phone, Mr. Perez grabbed her phone and pushed her to the ground.

Officers attempted to contact Mr. Perez, but these efforts were unsuccessful.  Officers of the Montgomery County Police – Emergency Response Team (ERT) were called to the scene at approximately 8:08 p.m.  When ERT members arrived, negotiators contacted Mr. Perez via a loud speaker in English and in Spanish, instructing him to exit the home and/or release the three-year-old child.  Mr. Perez refused to exit the home and refused to release the child.  These negotiations continued for more than an hour.

During this time, officers observed Mr. Perez using furniture to barricade doors and windows inside the home. Officers also saw Mr. Perez writing on the windows with his fingers using what appeared to be blood.

At approximately 10:15 p.m., officers observed Mr. Perez light something on fire and throw it out a second-floor bedroom window onto the ground below.  Several minutes later, the child was heard screaming.  Mr. Perez continued to light fires in the home.  Smoke was observed coming from the bedroom and the townhome’s smoke alarms began to sound.

At that time, the Montgomery County Police – Special Operations Division commander, Captain Ed Daniel, made the following determinations and decisions:

1.) The three-year-old child’s life was in immediate danger due to Mr. Perez’s continuing behavior and actions to include setting fires in the townhome.

2.) ERT officers would enter the townhome to rescue the child.

3.) Lethal force could be used by ERT officers on Mr. Perez prior to or during the entry of the home to stop him from endangering the life of the child.

Prior to making entry into the home, Officer Cochran observed Mr. Perez in a master bedroom window and shot him.  Officers entered the home and were faced with heavy smoke.  They reached the second floor of the house where they located the child unharmed on the bed in the master bedroom.  Officers found a knife with what appeared to be blood on it on the bed.  The child was taken from the home by ERT officers and safely returned to his mother.  Officers and Fire & Rescue personnel administered life-saving efforts on Mr. Perez at the home and he was transported to a local hospital in grave condition.  He succumbed to his injuries on July 25.

A search of the home revealed charred clothing, flammable liquid, and three lighters in the upper level.

Further investigation by detectives, to include a review of court documents, revealed a history of prior domestic violence between Mr. Perez and the female victim.  According to the female victim, this violence occurred as recently as three weeks prior to the July 23 incident when Mr. Perez assaulted her and their son.

Previous Press Releases:

Update: Officer-Involved Shooting at Domestic-Related Barricade

Man Shot in Domestic Violence Related Barricade