White Oak, MD – Bodycam video released Friday showed that Finan H. Berhe was rushing at a police officer with a large kitchen knife when he was fatally shot (video below).
The incident began at about 2:15 p.m. on Thursday when police received a 911 call from Berhe’s neighbor in the 1500-block of Hadden Manor Court, The Washington Post reported.
Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones said the neighbor told police that the 30-year-old Berhe had thrown a rock at his window and challenged him “to call the police.”
Chief Jones said the neighbor warned police that Berhe was standing outside holding a butcher knife, The Washington Post reported.
Montgomery County Police Sergeant David Cohen was the first officer to arrive on the scene, WTOP reported.
Bodycam video showed an armed Berhe standing on the sidewalk in front of a row of townhomes when Sgt. Cohen arrived.
As soon as the officer got out of his car, Berhe started walking toward him.
The video showed the officer drew his weapon as Berhe started running at the officer with a knife in his hand.
The officer took steps back and ordered the suspect to put the knife down, the video showed.
The video showed Sgt. Cohen used his radio to ask backup to hurry up, and then ordered Berhe to the ground.
The sergeant repeatedly ordered the suspect to drop his knife and get on the ground and the suspect ignored all commands, but he did start backing away from the approaching officer, the video showed.
“The subject rushed at the officer. The officer retreated a little bit. The subject then began to walk backwards,” Chief Jones said. “The officer again repeated to the individual several times to get on the ground and to drop the knife.”
Sgt. Cohen yelled at bystanders to go inside their homes as he backed Berhe onto the sidewalk at gunpoint.
“Get on the ground,” he told Berhe. “Get on the ground. I don’t want to shoot you.”
That’s when Berhe rushed toward the officer full speed, still armed with his knife.
The video showed Sgt. Cohen opened fire when Berhe was about 15 feet away and still coming at him.
He fired five times and Berhe was struck in the chest, according to WTOP.
As the suspect fell to the sidewalk, the video showed he dropped the big chef’s knife he’d been holding as he raced toward Sgt. Cohen.
Chief Jones said the officer administered aid immediately after the shooting and Berhe was transported to the hospital where he later died, The Washington Post reported.
Sgt. Cohen has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation is conducted as is protocol for all officer-involved shootings.
Police recovered the suspect’s knife at the scene, The Washington Post reported.
The sergeant is a 17-year veteran of the Montgomery County Police Department, according to WTOP.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: