According to the police reports, Peyton Ham, a 16-year-old young man armed with an airsoft gun and a knife, pointed his replica pistol at a trooper, who then fatally shot him.
The police statement reported that police received two separate 911 calls about a man behaving suspiciously while carrying what seemed to be a gun just before 1:30 p.m. local time Tuesday.
A uniformed Maryland state trooper appeared on the scene and approached Ham, a teenager armed with a knife and what appeared to be a handgun.
The boy was fatally shot by the state trooper, according to the teenager’s family, who said Ham was a “sweet young man.”
Ham—a Leonardtown High School student with promise—was recognized as a “talented” honors student in the incident’s wake.
Ham’s mother, Kristee Boyle, described her son as “an awesome young man.”
“It’s a horrific situation,” Boyle said.
Ham’s family, described him as “an amazing young man” and “an incredibly smart, gifted” one with an “Alex P. Keaton” type personality, referring to the overachieving TV character played by Michael. J. Fox on “Family Ties.”
In a statement, his family said: “Our family is absolutely heartbroken and shattered over this sudden, unexpected loss of life of a talented young man, filled with promise.”
“Words cannot express the gratitude our family is feeling with the overwhelming love and support being extended by our friends and family in our amazing community,” they said.
According to State Police Superintendent Woodrow Jones III, Ham was taken out by a trooper in response to a 911 call, which reported there was an armed individual behaving suspiciously in Leonardtown.
According to Jones, a witness saw Ham in the driveway “in a shooting stance,” aiming an airsoft pistol at the trooper, who then opened fire on the boy, wounding him. The boy did not stop and continued with a knife advancing to engage in combat with the police. The trooper told him to put down the knife before opening fire one more time.
Following the shooting, the trooper called for emergency medical assistance, while other troopers and sheriff’s deputies gave the boy first aid. Ham died later at a local hospital. The airsoft gun and a knife were found at the scene.
Troopers from the Maryland State Police do not wear body cameras, and the incident was not caught on any footage. Investigators will search for any recording from the scene.