Update: Officer-Involved Shooting in Potomac; Additional Information Released

On March 12, 2020, detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police, with the assistance of the Special Operations Division – Tactical Unit, served a high-risk search warrant at a residence located in the 12200 block of St. James Road in Potomac, Maryland.

The search warrant was related to an investigation into a suspect identified as Duncan Socrates Lemp, age 21, of the 12200 block of St. James Road in Potomac, Maryland.

Detectives assigned to the Investigative Services Bureau received an anonymous tip at the beginning of the year, indicating that Lemp was in possession of firearms. Due to his criminal history as a juvenile, Lemp was prohibited from legally possessing or purchasing firearms in the State of Maryland until the age of 30. During their investigation, detectives learned of a number of firearms that Lemp was in possession of, to include various rifles and handguns that would ultimately be recovered from the residence. Detectives applied for and received a no-knock search warrant for the crimes of possession of an assault weapon and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

The search warrant on March 12, 2020, was served in the early morning hours, consistent with Montgomery County Department of Police practice. The officers entering the residence announced themselves as police and that they were serving a search warrant. Officers gave commands for individuals inside the residence to show their hands and to get on the ground. Upon making contact with Lemp, officers identified themselves as the police and gave him multiple orders to show his hands and comply with the officer’s commands to get on the ground. Lemp refused to comply with the officer’s commands and proceeded towards the interior bedroom door where other officers were located. Upon entrance by officers into Lemp’s bedroom, Lemp was found to be in possession of a rifle and was located directly in front of the interior bedroom entrance door.

During the service of the search warrant a device was discovered affixed to the inside frame of the exterior door leading to Lemp’s bedroom. Montgomery County Fire Marshals responded in order to render the device safe. The device was designed as a “booby trap” intended to detonate a shotgun shell at the direction of anyone entering through the exterior door into Lemp’s bedroom.  After officers entered the bedroom, the other occupant of the room warned the officers to be careful of the device rigged to the exterior door.  Statements from other occupants of the residence indicated they were aware of the dangerous device on the door.

Further statements from the other occupant in Lemp’s bedroom indicated that he slept with the rifle each night. Contrary to some information reported to the media, the same occupant also indicated that Lemp was out of the bed and standing directly in front of the interior bedroom door at the time the officers made entry into the bedroom.

Items collected from the residence included three rifles and two handguns as well as other items of evidentiary value.

This remains an ongoing investigation by the Major Crimes Division.

pic of handgun

Picture of Handgun Seized on Incident Scene

Pic of Rifle

Picture of EA Rifle Seized on Incident Scene

pic of P80 handgun

Picture of P80 Handgun Seized on Incident Scene

pic of Springfield Armory Rifle

Picture of Springfield Armory Rifle Seized on Incident Scene

pic of Tavor Rifle

Picture of Tavor Rifle Seized on Incident Scene

 

 

Detectives Investigate Officer-Involved Shooting in Potomac; Additional Information Released

Detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police – Major Crimes Division continue to investigate a shooting that occurred yesterday, March 12, in the 12200 block of St. James Road in Potomac.

At approximately 4:30 am on March 12, members of the Special Operations Division – Tactical Unit were in the process of serving a high-risk search warrant related to firearms offenses at an address in the 12200 block of St. James Road in Potomac.  During the warrant service, the suspect confronted the officers and was fatally shot by an officer assigned to the Tactical Unit.

The suspect has been identified as Duncan Socrates Lemp, age 21, of the 12200 block of  St. James Road in Potomac.

Lemp was prohibited from possessing firearms and detectives were following up on a complaint from the public that Lemp, though prohibited, was in possession of firearms.  Detectives recovered three rifles and two handguns from the residence.

The facts and circumstances of the encounter are still being investigated by detectives from the Major Crimes Division. The Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office will review the officer-involved shooting at the conclusion of the investigation.*

{*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.}

pic of Tavor Rifle

Picture of Tavor Rifle Seized on Incident Scene

pic of handgun

Picture of Handgun Seized on Incident Scene

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Pic of Rifle

Picture of EA Rifle Seized on Incident Scene

pic of Springfield Armory Rifle

Picture of Springfield Armory Rifle Seized on Incident Scene

pic of P80 handgun

Picture of Handgun Seized on Incident Scene

Police Apprehend Suspect Armed with Knife inside Germantown 7-Eleven; Body-Worn Camera Video Released

Rodney Taylor-Smith

On Wednesday, November 20, at approximately 5:25 p.m., the Emergency Communications Center (911) received a hang-up call from the 7-Eleven located at 13001 Wisteria Drive in Germantown. The 911 call taker called the store back and an employee answered, “I cannot talk to you because I have trouble. Can you come fast? Please help!” The line then disconnected.

The first officer entered the store and observed multiple employees and customers to include a small child. The officer asked an employee if everything was okay. The employee stated “No, he’s armed with a knife!” and pointed toward a male suspect at the counter.  At that time, the suspect, later identified as Rodney Taylor-Smith, stepped back from the counter holding a knife with blades protruding from each end. The officer drew her service weapon and ordered Taylor-Smith to drop the knife. The officer repeated her commands several times, but Taylor-Smith refused to comply. The officer then ordered customers to move away from Taylor-Smith to the back of the store. Some customers moved toward the back of the store while others ran out of the rear door.

Additional officers arrived at the store and ordered Taylor-Smith to drop the knife. Taylor-Smith again refused, squared his body directly toward officers, and told officers to drop their guns. At that point, an officer deployed her Taser twice; both deployments were unsuccessful.  Taylor-Smith then put the knife in his jacket pocket.

After several minutes of negotiating with Taylor-Smith, an officer recognized an opportunity and tackled Taylor-Smith to the ground (this officer’s body-worn camera video is below). Officers arrested Taylor-Smith without injury to him or others.

Witnesses said the incident began when Taylor-Smith approached the store counter to return an item. When employees explained that he needed a receipt, Taylor-Smith brandished a knife.

Rodney Taylor-Smith, age 47, of Middlebrook Road in Germantown, was taken to the Central Processing Unit and charged with multiple counts of first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment. Taylor-Smith is being held without bond at the Montgomery County Detention Center.

5th District Commander Mark Plazinski stated, “These officers placed themselves in harm’s way to resolve this incident. I hope every county resident appreciates the courage and decisive actions that this peaceful resolution took. Our officers are trained in negotiation and de-escalation, but when the suspect will not comply, we just cannot walk away. This could have easily ended with the suspect shot, but I am extremely proud that the officers’ firearms discipline and heroic actions were able to guarantee the safety of everyone. The commitment by the officers to risk their own well-being to ensure the safety of the community is commendable and will be recognized accordingly. In this season of thanks, I am grateful to work with such brave and highly trained women and men.”

The knife that Taylor-Smith was holding.

**Note to media: Three of the officers involved in this incident will be available for interviews at 3 p.m. today (Wednesday, November 27) at the 5th District Police Station located at 20000 Aircraft Drive in Germantown.   Please call the Public Information Division at 240-773-5030 (press option #4 when you hear the phone tree) to confirm your attendance. 

Springbrook High School Student Arrested and Charged with Possession of Unloaded Handgun on School Property

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department’s Firearms Investigations Unit have charged 17-year-old Solomon Henderson of Silver Spring as an adult with offenses related to the possession of an unloaded handgun on school property.

Today shortly after 10:30 a.m., administrative staff and security personnel for Springbrook High School, located at 201 Valley Brook Drive in Silver Spring, received information that Henderson was in possession of a handgun.  The School Resource Officer (SRO) was notified.  An unloaded .40 caliber handgun and an empty magazine were located in Henderson’s gym bag.

Henderson was transported to the Central Processing Unit and charged with possession of a handgun, possession of a firearm by a person under 21 years old, and possession of a firearm on school property.  Bond information is not available.

At this time, detectives have not identified any type of threat or intention by Henderson to harm other students or staff.

Investigation has determined that the handgun was legally purchased and is registered to Henderson’s father.

Anyone who has information about this incident is asked to call the Firearms Investigations Unit at 240-773-6400.

RLI

Note: The Department does not release photographs of juveniles.

Student Charged with Possession of Knife at Paint Branch High School

This morning at approximately 8:34 a.m., 3rd District officers responded to Paint Branch High School located at 14121 Old Columbia Pike in Burtonsville for the report of a student in possession of a pocket knife and firearm ammunition.

Responding officers confirmed that school administrators had found a 16-year-old male student to be in possession of a pocket knife and six rounds of handgun ammunition placed in a small, plastic sandwich bag.

During this investigation, officers received no information that indicated that the student had been in possession of a gun at school today.  Officers searched the school grounds and the male student’s home and did not locate any firearm.

The juvenile student was transported to the 3rd District Station and charged with possession of a dangerous weapon on school property.  He was released to the custody of his guardian.  The case will be referred to the Department of Juvenile Services for adjudication.

RLI