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Md. man killed by officer during raid had door booby-trapped to fire at anyone entering, police say

The officers did not go through that door during the raid, police said.

Officials also offered more details of why they said the aggressive SWAT unit raid was warranted — specifically that the target of their search, Duncan Socrates Lemp, was believed to be in possession of an assault weapon and other weapons despite a criminal history in juvenile court that prohibited him from legally possessing firearms.

Two attorneys for Lemp’s family, Rene Sandler and Jon Fellner, said the new details released by police were “inconsistent with the physical evidence and eyewitness accounts.” The attorneys said SWAT officers “initiated gunfire and flash bangs through Duncan Lemp’s bedroom window in the front of the house,” and did so before officers forced their way into the house and made their way to his bedroom.

“The Lemp family requests that the Montgomery County Police immediately release all body camera footage and audio from this horrific event,” the attorneys said.

Early this year, police said, they received an anonymous tip that Lemp had guns. They also learned he was prohibited from possessing guns until he turned 30. Investigators eventually obtained “a no-knock search warrant for the crimes of possession of an assault weapon and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person,” police said.

About 4:30 a.m. Thursday, the tactical unit arrived at Lemp’s home along St. James Road in Potomac.

Police officials did not say exactly when one of the SWAT officers fired a deadly round. Nor did they say whether Lemp was pointing a gun at the time.

SWAT officers forced their way through the main front door, police said. The officers avoided a different exterior door to their left, which led directly to Lemp’s room and later was determined to be the one that was booby-trapped, officials said.Once inside the home, the tactical officers headed to their left toward Lemp’s bedroom, police said.

“The officers entering the residence announced themselves as police and that they were serving a search warrant,” police said. “Officers gave commands for individuals inside the residence to show their hands and to get on the ground.”

Lemp stayed inside his bedroom the whole time, police said. Officers made their way to an interior doorway to that bedroom, police said.

“Upon making contact with Lemp, officers identified themselves as the police and gave him multiple orders to show his hands and comply with the officer’s commands to get on the ground,” police said. “Lemp refused to comply with the officer’s commands and proceeded towards the interior bedroom door where other officers were located.”

It was about then, according to police, that one of the tactical officers fired the fatal shot. Lemp had been in possession of a rifle, officials said. They did not specify how he was holding it.

“After officers entered the bedroom, the other occupant of the room warned the officers to be careful of the device rigged to the exterior door,” police said.

The device, police said, was discovered affixed to the inside frame of the exterior door leading to Lemp’s bedroom.

Montgomery County bomb-squad technicians were called about the alleged booby trap. They were able to “render the device safe,” police said.

Officials also said they were told by the other bedroom occupant that Lemp slept with a rifle every night, and had gotten up and was near the door during the raid.

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