2021 | Police & Fire

UPDATED: Germantown man dies after report of shooting in Gaithersburg near vigil

Scene is near where officers fatally shot man two days earlier

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This story was updated at 11:20 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2021, to add that the man has died and that police are investigating the case as a homicide. It was updated again at 10:12 a.m. on Jan. 11, 2021, to add comments from Montgomery County police and at 12:15 p.m. to include the name of the man who died.

A Germantown man died Sunday evening after police say a shooting was reported in Gaithersburg outside an apartment building near a candlelight vigil.

Darius Cooper, 25, of Dairymaid Drive, died Sunday night. Police said in a press release that they found him suffering from traumatic injuries.

The reported shooting was close to the area where officers fatally shot a man Friday evening.

Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti, a Montgomery County police spokeswoman, said in an interview Monday morning that the candlelight vigil was for 24-year-old Kwamena Ocran, who was killed in Friday’s shooting. She did not know if Cooper had a connection to the vigil or to Ocran.

“We know that the incident occurred near the vigil, but whether it was related to the vigil … is still under investigation.”

When asked whether Cooper was shot on Sunday, Innocenti said his body was taken to a medical examiner. She said she would confirm the manner of death once the autopsy is complete.

Montgomery County and Gaithersburg officers got a call at 6:11 p.m. Sunday for a report of a shooting in front of a building near the vigil in the first block of South Frederick Avenue on Sunday, county police wrote in a press release.

Gaithersburg and Montgomery County police responded and found Cooper suffering from trauma, but they did not indicate if the trauma was from a shooting or give any other details of what happened. He was taken to a hospital and later died of his injuries, they said.

Police said they learned earlier in the day of a vigil scheduled to start at 4 p.m. They did not give additional details.

Police are investigating the man’s death as a homicide and asking anyone with information to call them at 240-773-5070.

Innocenti added that both Sunday’s homicide and Friday night’s shooting are being investigating by Montgomery County police even though both events occurred within Gaithersburg’s police jurisdiction. The county’s Major Crimes Division investigates all deaths in the county, she said.

The scene of Sunday’s reported shooting is close to where Friday night’s shooting took place.

On Friday, four plain clothes officers approached Ocran because of a report that he was armed.

Police said he ran toward Chelsea Park Apartments at 14 S. Frederick Ave., displayed a handgun and at least one officer shot him. Ocran died at the scene.

The four officers in Friday’s shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.

On Saturday afternoon, Gaithersburg police identified the officers as:
● Sgt. Willie Delgado (17-year veteran)
● Cpl. Larbi Dakkouni (8-year veteran)
● Officer James Doyle (5-year veteran)
● Officer Kyle Khuen (5-year veteran)

All four officers are assigned to the Special Operations Bureau and work in the Street Crimes Unit.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com