A Maryland man was shot and killed by a police officer while sleeping in his bedroom after police opened fire from outside his house, according to an attorney for the 21-year-old man’s family said Friday. Police also wounded the man’s girlfriend.
The Montgomery County Police Department said in a news release Friday that Duncan Socrates Lemp “confronted” police and was shot by one of the officers early Thursday. Rene Sandler, an attorney for Lemp’s relatives, said an eyewitness gave a “completely contrary” account of the shooting. She said police could have “absolutely no justification” for shooting Lemp based on what she has heard about the circumstances.
“The facts as I understand them from eyewitnesses are incredibly concerning,” she told The Associated Press.
The warrant that police obtained to search the Potomac home Lemp shared with his parents and 19-year-old brother doesn’t mention any “imminent threat” to law enforcement or the public, Lemp’s relatives said in a statement released Friday by their lawyers. Nobody in the house that morning had a criminal record, the statement adds.
“Any attempt by the police to shift responsibility onto Duncan or his family, who were sleeping when the police fired shots into their home, is not supported by the facts,” the statement says.
A police department spokesman didn’t immediately respond to the statements by the family or their lawyer.
Sandler said Lemp’s grief-stricken family is traumatized. Their statement says they intend to “hold each and every person responsible for his death.”
“We believe that the body camera footage and other forensic evidence from this event will support what Duncan’s family already knows, that he was murdered,” the statement says.
Lemp worked as a software developer and was trying to raise money for a startup company, according to friends and co-workers.
“He was a talented, smart guy. Super nice. Didn’t deserve to get shot,” said Samuel Reid, whose Canadian software company employed Lemp as an independent contractor.
Tsolmondorj Natsagdorj, 24, of Fairfax, Virginia, said he met Lemp in 2016 and bonded with him over their shared interest in cryptocurrency. They also talked about politics. He described Lemp as a libertarian who frequented the 4chan and Reddit message boards, sites popular with internet trolls.
“Duncan was a young guy with a bright future as an entrepreneur,” Natsagdorj said. “He was working on things to change the world.”
Since the law’s inception through August 31, an estimated 160 red flag orders have been applied for in Anne Arundel County, the most in Maryland. Statewide, 890 orders have been applied for with just over 50% granted.
The image for the story is a 2019 photo showing Duncan Lemp in Venice, Italy.