BALTIMORE, MD—The Independent Investigations Division of the Office of the Attorney General on Tuesday released its investigative report on a 2022, fatal officer-involved shooting in Baltimore County.
On June 4, 2022, officers with the Baltimore County Police Department responded to an apartment complex in the 500-block of Virginia Avenue in Towson for a report of an unknown disturbance. When officers arrived on scene, they heard gunshots coming from inside the building.
Officers entered the building and proceeded to the 11th floor, which is where the 911 caller reported the disturbance. Once on the floor, officers identified the apartment where the disturbance was reported to have occurred and knocked on the door.
An adult man, later identified as Joseph Robert Thompson, answered the door armed with a handgun. Thompson immediately stepped through the doorway, raised his gun toward officers and fired. Officers Scott Johnson, Cody Klapka, and Robert Fitzgerald returned fire striking Thompson, who died on the scene.
One officer suffered a gunshot wound to the hand and was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Officers also found an adult woman inside the apartment suffering from gunshot wounds. She was taken to a local hospital and later released. Investigators later determined that the woman was shot by Thompson.
The IID concluded its investigation on December 22, 2022, and forwarded its investigative report to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office on December 27, 2022. The Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office notified the IID on January 13, 2023, of its decision not to prosecute the case.
The IID’s report contains detailed investigative findings and an analysis of relevant legal issues. Because the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office—not the IID—retains prosecution authority in this case, the report does not make any recommendations as to whether any individual should or should not be charged. A copy of the investigative report can be found online here.
By law, the IID’s report must remain confidential until any related prosecution is completed or the State’s Attorney’s Office declines to prosecute. If the local State’s Attorney decides to prosecute the matter, the IID will release the report, with appropriate redactions for confidentiality, within 30 days of a final judgment of all defendants in the case. If the local State’s Attorney declines to prosecute, the IID will release the report, with appropriate redactions for confidentiality, within 30 days of that determination.