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In the matter of the June 13, 2019 police-involved shooting in Rockville, Maryland


ReportJohn McCarthy at a microphone

Pursuant to an agreement between the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office is providing this written memorandum detailing its investigation and conclusion regarding a Police- Involved Shooting that occurred on June 13, 2019 in Rockville, Maryland.

Timeline of Investigation

On June 13, 2019, Howard County State’s Attorney Richard Gibson received a phone call from Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy. State’s Attorney McCarthy informed State’s Attorney Gibson that an incident had occurred in Rockville, Maryland whereby the Montgomery County Police had shot and killed a person. State’s Attorney Richard Gibson assigned two attorneys to handle the matter pursuant to the agreement between the counties.

Later in the day on June 13, 2019, Howard County prosecutors spoke to Detective Paula Hamill of the Montgomery County Police Department Homicide Division. Detective Hamill provided them with some preliminary information regarding the shooting. Detective Hamill confirmed that the person shot by police was a male and that he was deceased. Detective Hamill stated that the decedent and four other individuals had burglarized a gun shop and, while leaving the scene in a white Mercedes SUV, they were confronted by Montgomery County Patrol Officer John Gloss, who shot and killed one of the occupants inside the vehicle. Detective Hamill stated that the incident was captured on the gun shop’s surveillance cameras and that she would email the videos to Howard County attorneys. Detective Hamill said the shooting was not captured on Officer Gloss’s Body Worn Camera because his camera was not activated until after the shots were fired.

On June 13, 2019, Howard County prosecutors received the Ring and Nest surveillance footage that captured the burglary at United Gun Shop and the police-involved shooting in the parking lot. The assigned attorneys reviewed the surveillance videos.

On June 14, 2019, Detective Hamill contacted the Howard County prosecutors and stated the ATF was working the case with the Montgomery County Detectives and over 20 guns that were taken in the burglary were still missing. Detective Hamill said that the ATF, Montgomery County Police and Howard County Police were in the process of executing search warrants. Howard County Police were involved in the investigation because a gun shop in Howard County was burglarized in the same manner on June 12, 2019.

On June 19, 2019, Detective Hamill provided an update on the case. She stated that the suspects in the United Gun Shop burglary had been apprehended. She stated that many of the guns had been recovered. Howard County prosecutors requested Detective Hamill gather all available evidence, place the evidence on a portable hard drive, and meet with them.

On July 15, 2019, Howard County prosecutors met with Detective Hamill at the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office. Detective Hamill provided a portable hard drive with the evidence she had gathered. Detective Hamill stated that she had shown the gun shop surveillance videos to Officer Gloss and his attorney. Detective Hamill also informed the Howard County prosecutors that she had provided the 911/radio traffic communications to Gloss’s attorney. Officer Gloss had yet to provide a statement to Detective Hamill. Howard County prosecutors informed Detective Hamill to discontinue communication with Office Gloss and his attorney.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Howard County prosecutors consulted frequently with Detective Hamill regarding the evidence-gathering process. Howard County prosecutors requested and received additional crime scene photos. They received photos prepared by a crime scene technician that showed the trajectory of each bullet that struck the white Mercedes SUV.

On August 2, 2019, Howard County prosecutors met Detective Hamill at the United Gun Shop located at 5465 Randolph Road, Rockville, MD 20852. Howard County prosecutors spoke with the owner of the gun shop who observed the burglary and police-involved shooting live on the gun shop’s surveillance cameras. Howard County prosecutors examined the interior and exterior of the gun shop, walked the parking lot where the shooting took place, and observed a truck that had been struck by one of the bullets discharged from the officer’s gun.

Howard County prosecutors then traveled approximately 1/4 of a mile to the location of 5400 Block of Randolph Road, where the white Mercedes SUV was located by police with the victim laying unresponsive in the back-cargo compartment. Howard County prosecutors reaffirmed that there were no surveillance cameras in the immediate vicinity that could have captured the white Mercedes SUV parking and the other burglary suspects exiting the vehicle.

Howard County prosecutors then traveled to the Montgomery County Police Impound Lot located at 305 Metropolitan Grove Rd, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878. At this location, Howard County prosecutors examined the white Mercedes SUV. Howard County prosecutors located every bullet hole and followed its trajectory through the white Mercedes SUV.

Howard County prosecutors requested that Detective Hamill gather and provide all recorded statements made by all individuals associated with the burglaries of Fox’s Firearms in Howard County on June 12, 2019 and United Gun Shop in Montgomery County on June 13, 2019. Once received, Howard County prosecutors reviewed all recorded witness/suspect statements associated with the gun shop burglaries that occurred in Howard County and Montgomery County, respectively.

On August 14, 2019, Officer Gloss’s Attorney sent an email to Howard County prosecutors requesting an update on the case.  Howard County prosecutors replied to Officer Gloss’s attorney

that the investigation was still ongoing and that Howard County prosecutors would reach out to her in in the future if they had questions for her client.

On August 28, 2019, Howard County prosecutors submitted written questions via email to Officer Gloss’s attorney. His attorney responded that she would meet with her client and provide the Howard County prosecutor with responses to their questions.

On July 9, 2019, the Howard County prosecutor requested a Howard County police officer to review the video of the shooting and related investigation. The Howard County police officer is a supervisor with the Howard County Police Department Education and Training Division and specializes in use of force training. The Howard County police officer subsequently reviewed the surveillance footage from the gun shop and on July 10, 2019, provided a detailed opinion on Officer Gloss’s use of force. It was the Howard County police officer’s opinion that Officer Gloss use of deadly force was reasonable based on the threat presented and that Officer Gloss “utilized the best tactics available to him.”

On August 14, 2019, the Howard County prosecutor received a detailed opinion from an officer with the Montgomery County Police Department. The Montgomery County Police officer is an instructor at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Academy, which is responsible for training new police officers. Cadets receive a course on use of force. After familiarizing himself with the case and reviewing the gun shop surveillance footage, it was the opinion of the Montgomery County police officer that the “use of force was necessary, objectively reasonable, and consistent with generally accepted police practices and MCPD Training/Directives.”

On September 13, 2019, Officer Gloss’s attorney provided Howard County prosecutors with written responses to their questions for Officer Gloss.

Evidence Reviewed

Howard County prosecutors reviewed the following:

  • 911 Calls
  • AED Downloads
    • Case Summary
    • Check List Report
    • Continuous Complete
    • Event Log
    • Test Log Report
  • Witness Audio Recorded Interview
  • Autopsy Notes and Report
    • Two officer notes
  • Axon Recordings
  • Body Warn Camera
    • 27 videos
 
  • Crime Scene Logs
  • Five Detective Notes
  • Evidence
    • Image Requests
    • Examinations of Projectiles
  • Evidence.com
    • Interview Room- Main Camera
  • FEU Report
  • FSS Reports

o 190028170

  • Supplemental Report- 5137 Randolph Road
  • Supplemental Report- 5465 Randolph Road
  • Supplemental Report- 12110 Lauderdale Drive
  • Supplemental Report- Autopsy
  • Supplemental Report- Officer
  • Supplemental Report- Subaru Outback

o 190028170- MCP41

  • Case Review
  • Report- MCP41- 526
  • Collection Log
  • MCP41
    • Case Review
      • Supplemental Report- Autopsy
      • Supplemental Report- Officer
      • Supplemental Report- Subaru Outback
      • Case Review
      • Supplement Case Review
    • MCP Vehicle
      • Case Review
      • MCP VH Notes
      • MCP VH Photographs
      • MCP VH Report
      • VPF Report (MCPVEH 1)
    • Original Report
      • Extension, Review & Approval
        • Approval
        • Extension
        • Review
      • Body Scene 526
      • Body Scene 708
      • Body Scene Evidence Collection Log
      • Body Scene Final Sketch
      • Body Scene Video Thumbnails
 
  • Burglary Scene 526
  • Burglary Scene Evidence Collection Log
  • Burglary Scene Exterior Final Sketch
  • Burglary Scene Interior Final Sketch
  • Firearm Processing #CS-02
  • Firearm Processing #CS-03
  • Firearm Processing #CS-05
  • Firearms #CS-02 Trace
  • Firearms #CS-03 Trace
  • Firearms #CS-05 Trace
  • Notes
  • Report
  • Thumbnails
  • United Guns 708
  • United Guns Video Thumbnails
  • Victim 526
  • Victim Currency Log V-01
  • Victim Currency Log V-05
  • Victim Evidence Collection Log
  • Supplement- 5317 Randolph Road
    • Case Review
    • Supplement 526
    • Supplement ATF Trace 2OS-01
    • Supplement ATF Trace 2OS-03
    • Supplement ATF Trace 2OS-04
    • Supplement Collection Log
    • Supplement Crime Scene Report
    • Supplement Firearms Processing Report 2OS-01
    • Supplement Firearms Processing Report 2OS-03
    • Supplement Firearms Processing Report 2OS-04
    • Supplement Notes
    • Supplement Photographs
  • Supplement- 5465 Randolph Road
    • Case Review
    • Supplement 526
    • Supplement Collection Log
    • Supplemental Crime Scene Report
    • Supplement Notes
    • Supplement Overview
    • Supplement Photographs
  • Supplement- 12110 Lauderdale Drive
    • Case Review
    • Supplement 526
 
  • Supplement ATF Trace OS-01
  • Supplement ATF Trace OS-02
  • Supplement Collection Log
  • Supplement Crime Scene Report
  • Supplement Firearms Process Report OS-01
  • Supplement Firearms Process Report OS-02
  • Supplement Notes
  • Supplement Photographs
  • Supplemental- Autopsy
    • Case Review
    • 526- Autopsy
    • Case Report- Autopsy
    • Collection Log- Autopsy
    • Notes- Autopsy
    • OCME Property & Evidence Receipt- Autopsy
    • Thumbnails- Autopsy Evidence
    • Thumbnails- Autopsy
  • Supplemental- Officer
    • Case Review
    • 526- Officer
    • Case Report- Officer
    • Collection Log- Officer
    • Notes- Officer
    • Thumbnail- Items- Officer
    • Thumbnails- Officer
  • Supplemental- Subaru Outback
    • Case Review
    • 526- Subaru Outback
    • Case Report- Subaru Outback
    • Collection Log- Subaru Outback
    • Notes- Subaru Outback
    • Thumbnails- Subaru Outback
    • Vehicle Processing Facility Report- Subaru Outback
  • Vehicle
    • Extension, Review & Approval
    • Vehicle 526 VH-33
    • Vehicle 526
    • Vehicle Evidence Collection Log VH-33
    • Vehicle Evidence Collection Log
    • Vehicle Firearm Processing VH-26
    • Vehicle Firearm Processing VH-29A
    • Vehicle Firearm Processing VH-29B
    • Vehicle Firearm Processing VH-29C
 
  • Case File
 
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing VH-29D
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing VH-29E
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing VH-29F
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing VH-29G
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing VH-29H
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing VH-31
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing VH-32
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing #VH-26
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing #VH-29A
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing #VH-29B
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing #VH-29C
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing #VH-29D
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing #VH-29E
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing #VH-29F
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing #VH-29G
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing #VH-29H
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing #VH-31
  • Vehicle Firearm Processing #VH-32
  • Vehicle Notes
  • Vehicle Processing Report
  • Vehicle Report
  • Vehicle Thumbnails
 
  • Anne Arundel County Reports
  • Contact Information
  • MCFRS CAD Report
  • Seven MCFRS Statements
  • MCP CAD Report
  • MCP Cruiser
    • Photographs
  • Mercedes Information
    • Report
  • Miscellaneous
    • Emails
  • Nest Clips
    • Video
    • Certificate of Authenticity
  • Officer Gloss Qualifications
  • Eleven uniformed Officer Statements
  • Photographs
  • Radio Transmissions
  • Recordings
 
  • Still Images & Videos
  • Subaru Information
  • Titan Videos
  • Videos from Gun Shop

o 19 videos

  • Eleven witness Videotaped Interviews
  • Written Responses of Officer Gloss provided by his attorney

 

Summary of Facts

On June 12, 2019 at approximately 2:00 AM, at Fox’s Firearms located at 11200 Scaggsville Road, Laurel, Maryland (Howard County), four individuals arrived at the gun shop, drove a vehicle through the front door of the gun shop, entered the gun shop and stole approximately 18 firearms. Howard County Police responded to the scene after the individuals had fled the scene in a vehicle.

Approximately 24 hours later, the United Gun Shop located at 5465 Randolph Road, Rockville, Maryland (Montgomery County) was burglarized in a similar fashion. The United Gun Shop was equipped with multiple surveillance cameras which captured the following events from multiple angles.

On June 13, 2019 at approximately 2:32 AM a black Subaru SUV and a white Mercedes SUV pulled into the parking lot of the United Gun Shop. Both vehicles had recently been reported stolen by their respective owners. The vehicles parked side-by-side directly in front of the gun shop. Suspect #1 exited the driver’s side door of the black Subaru SUV. Suspect #2 exited the front passenger side door of the black Subaru SUV. Suspect #1 began conversing through the passenger window of the adjacent white Mercedes SUV. Suspect #3 was seated in front passenger seat of the white Mercedes SUV. Suspect #4 was seated in the driver’s seat of the white Mercedes SUV. Suspect #5 was seated in the rear driver’s side seat. While Suspect #1 was conversing with the occupant(s) of the white Mercedes SUV, Suspect #2, walked up to the front of the gun shop, pressed on the wall with his hands and then tapped on the wall with what appeared to be a hammer. Investigators believe this was an attempt to check the structural integrity of the front wall of the gun shop.

Around this time, the owner of the gun shop was notified of the motion in the front of the gun shop. From his home, the gun shop owner began monitoring the various Nest and Ring cameras positioned on and around the building. At 2:34:51 AM, the gun shop owner placed a 911 call to the Montgomery County Police Department informing the police of the burglary in progress. The gun shop owner informed the police that the suspects had a black SUV and a white Mercedes SUV. At 2:34:59 AM, Titan Protection, a security company hired to monitor the United Gun Shop, placed a 911 call to the Montgomery County Police informing the police of the burglary in progress. Montgomery County Police then dispatched the burglary-in-progress call to its patrol units. Officer John Gloss, driving alone in a marked patrol car, headed towards the United Gun Shop.

While being watched via surveillance cameras by the gun shop owner and Titan Protection, Suspect #1 walked to the front of the gun shop and moved a gun shop marquee sign that was positioned directly in front of the store. Suspect #1 then returned to the front passenger side door of the white Mercedes SUV and continued conversing with the occupant(s). Suspect #1 took an empty pink bag from the white Mercedes SUV and placed it around his neck. Suspect #2, also standing between both vehicles, held an empty blue bag. Suspect #4 exited the driver’s side door of the white Mercedes SUV. Suspect #3, who was seated in the front passenger seat, slid over the center console into the driver’s seat of the white Mercedes SUV. Suspect #1 then got into the driver’s side door of the black Subaru SUV. Suspect #5 then exited the rear driver’s side of the white Mercedes SUV.

At this point, standing outside of the vehicles holding empty bags were Suspect #2, Suspect #4 and Suspect #5. Suspect #1 was in driver’s seat of the black Subaru SUV. Suspect #3 was in the driver’s seat of the white Mercedes SUV. Suspect #1 then drove the black Subaru SUV directly through the front wall of the gun shop. Suspect #2, Suspect #4 and Suspect #5 then ran through the newly created opening in the wall.

Once inside the gun shop, Suspect #1 exited the black Subaru SUV. Suspect #1, Suspect #2, Suspect #4 and Suspect #5 filled their bags with firearms and ammunition. Suspect #3 remained in the driver’s seat of the white Mercedes SUV.  Suspect #1, Suspect #2, Suspect #4 and Suspect

#5 then exited the gun shop through the newly created opening.   Suspect #1, Suspect #2, Suspect

#4 and Suspect #5 were in the gun shop for approximately 40 seconds and stole 29 firearms and multiple boxes of ammunition.

Suspect #1 got into the rear passenger side of the white Mercedes SUV. Suspect #2 then immediately followed Suspect #1 into the rear passenger side of the white Mercedes SUV. Suspect

#5 entered the rear driver’s side door of the white Mercedes SUV. Suspect #4, the last to enter vehicle, got in the front passenger seat of the white Mercedes SUV. Before Suspect #4 and Suspect

#5 had closed the vehicle doors, Montgomery County Police Officer John Gloss, pulled his marked patrol car into the gun shop parking lot.

Officer Gloss’s patrol car arrived from Randolph Road, which offered the only entrance/exit into the gun shop’s parking lot. As Officer Gloss’s patrol car drove north towards the white Mercedes SUV, the white Mercedes SUV sped off heading north, away from the entrance/exit of the parking lot. As it neared the dead-end of the parking lot, the white Mercedes SUV quickly turned around and began heading south towards the parking lot exit. At this point Officer Gloss had parked his patrol car in front of the gun shop and exited his patrol car with his weapon drawn. As Officer Gloss stood beside his patrol car, the white Mercedes SUV accelerated at a rapid pace directly towards him. As the white Mercedes SUV approached him, Officer Gloss fired his weapon at the front of the white Mercedes SUV. This was Gunshot #1. The white Mercedes SUV continued accelerating towards Officer Gloss. Officer Gloss lunged away from the direct path of the white Mercedes SUV. As the white Mercedes SUV was almost parallel with Officer Gloss, he fired his weapon again. This was Gunshot #2. Officer Gloss fired his weapon two more times as the white Mercedes SUV was speeding past him. These were Gunshots #3 and #4. When the white Mercedes SUV drove past Officer Gloss, it clipped the back bumper of Officer Gloss’s patrol car,

which sent the entire bumper section of the patrol car barreling towards the entrance to the gun shop. Officer Gloss fired Gunshot #5 after the white Mercedes SUV had passed him. All five gunshots were fired in a three-second span.

Officer Gloss then alerted police dispatch that he had fired his weapon and he relayed the direction of travel of the white Mercedes SUV. Approximately two minutes later, the white Mercedes SUV was located by Montgomery County Police in the 5400 Block of Randolph Road—approximately 1/4 of a mile away from the gun shop. The white Mercedes SUV was disabled and parked in the right travel lane. When police officers initially approached the white Mercedes SUV, it appeared to be unoccupied. Upon closer inspection, police officers discovered Suspect #5 injured in the rear cargo area.  Officers removed Suspect #5 from the vehicle and began rendering first aid.  Suspect

#5 was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced deceased. An autopsy performed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that Suspect #5 died from a gunshot wound to the head. A bullet was recovered from inside of Suspect #5’s head.

Montgomery County police secured the crime scene surrounding the gun shop and the white Mercedes SUV. Crime scene technicians responded to both scenes to process the scenes and recover evidence. At the gun shop crime scene, a bullet from Officer Gloss’s service weapon was located lodged in the wood siding of a truck located in the rear of the parking lot.

Inside the white Mercedes SUV, police recovered eight firearms and ammunition from inside a backpack that was in the rear cargo area where Suspect #5 was found. These firearms and ammunition were taken from the United Gun Shop. Located in the glove box of the white Mercedes SUV were two loaded firearms that had been taken during the Fox’s Firearms burglary on the previous night. Located on the rear seat of the white Mercedes SUV was a firearm and ammunition.  This firearm belonged to the United Gun Shop.

The white Mercedes SUV was closely examined to determine entrance/exit holes of all bullets that were fired by Officer Gloss. An analysis of the surveillance footage from the gun shop, crime scene evidence, body worn camera footage, and autopsy information led to the following conclusions regarding the bullets fired from Officer Gloss’s service weapon:

Gunshot #1- Fired at front of white Mercedes SUV. Did not strike white Mercedes SUV. Bullet recovered from wood siding of a truck located in the rear of the parking lot.

Gunshot #2- Fired through rear passenger side door directly below window of white Mercedes SUV.  Bullet lodged in door frame and recovered.

Gunshot #3- Fired through small rear passenger side window white Mercedes SUV. Bullet recovered inside of vehicle.

Gunshot #4- Fired through rear cargo area above brake light of white Mercedes SUV. Struck suspect #5 in the head.  Bullet recovered from in Suspect #5’s head.

Gunshot #5- Fired through top of rear cargo area (above rear window) of white Mercedes SUV. Bullet recovered inside of vehicle.

Conclusion

Based upon a thorough review of all materials known at this time, it is the opinion of the Howard County prosecutors that Officer Gloss’s actions on June 13, 2019, were reasonable under the circumstances. The threat created by armed fleeing felons as their vehicle accelerated towards Officer Gloss justified the use of deadly force.

 

 

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