Police: Man shot by cops Thursday in stable condition, officers ID’d

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BPD chief spokesman T.J. Smith (left) and UMMS spokeswoman Karen Lancaster brief media outside the scene of the shooting on Thursday. Screenshot from Periscope/BPD.

Baltimore police say a 27-year-old man shot by officers Thursday afternoon at the Walter P. Carter Clinics downtown is now in stable condition.

“We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available,” the department said in an email.

Police also identified the officers who shot the man in the waiting room of the behavioral health clinic at 701 W. Pratt St. Their names are Epifanio Torres and Tankeisha Cokley. (Police appear to have misspelled both officers’ names in their email update, referring to them as “Epifana Torres” and “Tankeisha Cokely.”) Both are patrol officers assigned to the Central District. Police said Torres is a six-year department veteran, and that Cokley has been with the BPD for five years.

City salary records indicate Torres was hired in August of 1994, and the officer’s name is listed in court records dating back to 2010. BPD spokesman Det. Jeremy Silbert said he would have to verify their information with the department’s human resources division.

Police chief spokesman T.J. Smith said Thursday that officers shot the man in the leg and upper body after he refused officers’ commands to drop the knife and charged at them. He was transported to University of Maryland Shock Trauma in critical condition.

According to Smith, the man had been throwing chairs in the fifth-floor University of Maryland Medical System facility, and had been threatening bystanders and staff.

He had also refused requests from staff and bystanders to drop the knife, Smith said.

Asked that day if officers had tried subduing the man with a Taser before firing their service weapons, Smith said an officer deployed a Taser “around the same time that the shots were fired.” He said police did not engage a crisis intervention team, and that “it didn’t appear to be an extended negotiation by any means.”

Police have not responded to a query about whether they plan to release body camera video from the scene. Smith had said officers’ devices were switched on at the time. Four of them were on the scene when the shooting happened.

BPD released footage from another incident that happened in Waverly in November 2016, in which officers shot a man, 48, dancing and wielding a pair of knives outside on Greenmount Avenue. He appeared to be having a mental health episode.

In that case, one officer fired his gun as another deployed a Taser, footage showed. Both of them missed, but a third officer fired his gun and struck the man. The officers were cleared of any wrongdoing the following spring. The man who was shot survived.

Ethan McLeod
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