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Man found in City park with a Gun
Posted: Jul 15, 2017 2:32 PM
By WRDE
(Salisbury, Md) - Salisbury Police were called to a park on Tuesday night July 11, 2017, for the report of a man with a gun. When they arrived on scene at Woodcock Playground they found the man, Joel Hampshire sitting at a table in the playground. The first responding officer arrived at Woodcock Playground and located an individual near the picnic table and who fit the description provided by the caller. The officer immediately directed the individual, later identified as Joel Hampshire, to show his hands, at which point Hampshire began to wave around a handgun. The officer ordered Hampshire to drop the firearm, at which point Hampshire stated, "You're going to have to kill me." Hampshire then pointed the handgun directly at the officer. The officer, fearing for his life, fired one round from his issued duty weapon while attempting to seek cover. Hampshire continued to display the handgun while approaching a second arriving officer and stating, "Just shoot me." Officers were then able to negotiate with Hampshire, who ultimately dropped the firearm and surrendered. Hampshire was not wounded during the incident and no other injuries were reported. Officers determined that the handgun displayed by Hampshire was actually a Crossman air gun pistol that has features making it nearly indistinguishable from a real firearm. Multiple witness interviews and body camera footage confirmed the events as described. Additional investigation determined that Hampshire had placed the call to 9-1-1 in order to prompt a police response. Hampshire indicated that he was suicidal during this incident and he had intentionally attempted to have the officer shoot him. Salisbury Police Department 699 W. Salisbury Parkway Salisbury, MD 21801 (410) 548-3165 45th Hampshire was transported to PRMC for evaluation and later to Wicomico County Central Booking to be seen by a Commissioner. After a thorough assessment of safety concerns and review of investigative integrity, Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan has elected to release the name of the officer who discharged his firearm in this incident. Sgt. Richard Engle is a twenty-year veteran of the Salisbury Police Department and was the officer who Hampshire pointed the handgun at, prompting Sgt. Engle to discharge his duty weapon. Chief Duncan praised the measured response to this incident from Sgt. Engle and other officers on scene. "Our officers showed substantial restraint under the extreme duress of this life and death situation. The outcome is a credit to their personal character, quality training and unwavering professionalism. The officers were able to quickly assess the evolving situation as a dangerous mental health crisis and employed the appropriate intervention techniques to bring what could have been a tragic situation to a safe resolution for everyone." Chief Duncan indicated that SPD officers receive regular training on recognizing mental health issues and utilizing crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques. Hampshire 19 years old of Salisbury was charged with First-Degree Assault, Second-Degree Assault, Failure to Obey a Lawful Order.


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