FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A man fatally shot by a Maryland state trooper outside a gas station has been linked to the robbery of the SUV he was driving before he was shot, state police said Tuesday.
Authorities used fingerprints to identify Kevin Brunson, 45, of Baltimore, who died after he was shot four times by a trooper at a Sheetz gas station on Monday morning, police said in a news release.
Brunson rammed the car of a Frederick police officer and then lunged at the trooper, who then shot him, police spokesman Greg Shipley said. Police said Brunson had a large folding knife in his possession, but it was not clear whether he was holding it before he was shot.
Police said they were interviewing witnesses and reviewing video from the trooper's car and the gas station in an effort to clarify what happened before the shooting. Investigators also were checking for video from nearby businesses. Shipley refused to release any video, calling it "evidentiary."
Baltimore police confirmed that Brunson was the suspect in the theft of the Lincoln Navigator a day earlier, state police said. According to police, the vehicle owner confronted Brunson as he was stealing it, and Brunson threated the man with a gun in his waistband. No gun was recovered from him or the vehicle after he was shot.
Brunson's criminal history includes convictions for robbery, theft and assault, and arrests for vehicle theft and carjacking, court records show. He was sentenced to three years' incarceration in 2013 for unauthorized removal of property.
Trooper First Class William Jansen, who shot Brunson, has been placed on routine administrative leave. Evidence from the shooting investigation will be presented to the Frederick County state's attorney, and police are also conducting an internal probe.
Jansen is white, and Brunson was black. Race has not been raised as a factor in the shooting, but it comes amid a national debate about the deaths of black men at the hands of police.