Silver Spring, MD — SILVER SPRING, Md. -- Police say the man rushed the officer, but there’s still several questions surrounding a police-involved shooting in Montgomery County.
One of the questions neighbors have is whether race had something to do with it.
The man killed is 41-year-old Robert White. He lived in a Dearborn Ave., Silver Spring home.
A candle and flowers now sit on his porch. Lots of neighbors knew him. One neighbor, who's letting us her voice, says she’s been in the neighborhood for around 31-years.
The neighbor knew White's parents. Both have passed.
"It was always Mr. & Mrs. White, and she was a very dear woman. They were very religious,” she told WUSA 9.
The neighbor also talked to Robert White in passing.
"He loved to come down and play basketball right on the court here,” she said.
He was known for walking or running around the neighborhood. Some also knew he had some mental troubles.
"…some mental and emotional issues over the years,” said the neighbor.
Now, she says, “I asked myself immediately, 'Had – had it been not a person of color, if the reaction might have been the same."
At around 2:15 p.m. Monday afternoon, Montgomery County police say an officer had finished-up a call in the area of Sligo Creek Parkway. Police say he then began investigate a suspicious person in the area of Three Oaks Dr.
"The man became combative,” said Chief Tom Manger, who told reporters there was a confrontation.
The Chief said there is police body cam video that shows White knocked down the officer before he's fatally shot, but he didn't release it.
The Howard County States Attorney is investigating and may release the video when their criminal investigation is complete.
The reaction: a Black Lives Matter Protest in Montgomery County Tuesday, along with a flood of emotions online. On one neighborhood listerv post, someone claiming to look-out for White criticized the police stop and wrote, "Why is it okay to kill someone who is mentally ill?"
"I know that Robert, as related to me from a neighbor, um, could get angry and violent … but, the use of deadly force?” said the longtime neighbor.
The officer is 32-year old Anand Badgujar, a two year veteran of the Montgomery County Police Department.
Tom Hucker is the Councilman for that area. He spoke very highly of Montgomery County Police training but says he wants to know what type of mental health training the Ofc. Badgajar had and, more importantly, why he stopped White.
The officer has been placed on routine administrate leave until the investigation is complete.