February 3, 2023
Annapolis, US 30 F

Authorities Remaining Mum On Dog Shooter

Today, we have been trying to get a few questions answered regarding the authority Keith Shephard had to carry a gun in the State of Maryland.

First, we contacted the media liaison for the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall to find out about their policies. Our call was directed into the voicemail of Kathy Flores(?).  We asked four questions:

  1. Is the officer a DOD employee
  2. If not, is he employed by a contracted firm?
  3. Is he required to carry a weapon while off duty?
  4. Is he authorized to carry a weapon off duty?

We left two voicemails today and received an email response from Mary Ann Hodges, the Director of Public Affairs at 2:07pm:

Sir,

Per your  request:

The police officer involved in the Severn, Maryland dog park shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending completion of the Anne Arundel County investigation. This is standard operating procedure for any of our officers under investigation.

For information on the investigation, please contact the Anne Arundel County Public Information Officer at 410-222-8700.

We responded to see if she would address the questions as they relate to the Ft. Meyer installation. The email came back immediately with an “out of office” auto responder.

We also contacted the Maryland State Police by email to see if indeed, Officer Shephard’s gun was registered and if he had filed the proper paperwork to carry the concealed weapon.  We askedthree questions

  1. Can you verify if a Keith Shephard of Severn, MD currently has a permit to carry a concealed weapon in MD. Or if any handguns are registered in his name?
  2. Are sworn officers of non-Maryland jurisdictions allowed to carry a concealed weapon in MD?
  3. If so, must this be their service weapon? Or can they carry any personal weapon?

At this time, the Maryland State Police has not responded to our inquiry.

While we have been unable to confirm the policies, we have heard from readers that civilian police officers on military installations are required to leave their weapon on base when they are off duty. If this is true, Officer Shephard likely would have to register his handgun with the Maryland State Police and obtain the proper concealed weapon permit.

Meanwhile, his attorney has contacted The Capital and The Baltimore Sun to inform then that his client is looking forward to the inquiry and maintains that his client fired the weapon in self defense and felt that his life was in danger. The attorney also stressed that his client had served two tours of duty in Iraq and was a “decorated Army veteran.”

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17 Comments

  1. If I were to speculate, which I probably should not do, but I will, because it is fun, I would say you are getting stonewalled and run around, because he did not have a permit to have that gun in MD. AA County police said they initially did not bring charges because they did not believe a crime was committed. If he did not have a permit, they really screwed up, because a very obvious crime had been committed. The best they will be able to do as far as “damage control” on that one, will be to delay releasing the info., until the fervor dies down, and people move on to something new.

  2. Thank you for keeping the pressure on. I’d like to know about the responding officers call to the Assistant State’s Attorney. I wonder if she was informed of the case and made her determination “without” knowing that this was a DOD employee. If that information was included in the discussion, it is certainly inappropriate as it shouldn’t matter who was involved. Oh wait…I see that they faxed her the report, so of course she knew. Shocker that she determined the case should be closed. Sweep, sweep, sweep. Thanks to all who took their brooms away on Tuesday!!

  3. You are correct that Department of the Army Civilian Police must turn in their duty weapons after shift. The legality of this officer carrying the concealed weapon is not as clear cut as “did he have a permit.” He may be cover by the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act. The act requires that you have a job that requires you to carry a gun and that the individual has statutory powers of arrest. Although federal law does not expressly grant statutory powers of arrest to civilian police employed by DOD components the State of Maryland may. It gets even muddier when you add in the fact that the officer works in Virginia. Statutory power of arrest may be granted by Virginia law. If either Maryland or Virginia laws grant such power then this officer is legal to carry his weapon nationwide.

  4. Booo! Not what I wanted to hear, but thank you very much for sharing the info., Jeff.

  5. What kind of super “decorated Army veteran.” that served two tours in Iraq not be capable of keeping his cool long enough and also not be able to break up some aggressive play between two dogs.. And soldiers like him are defending this country?
    Sorry but I really don’t feel all that safe…I think that this cop has a Rambo Terminator psychosis and thinks he is untouchable because of his station, he made a really bad judgment this time and I hope he pays for it.
    You cannot go around thinking you can do anything you want, any time you want, and to whom ever you want. A clear case of abusive authority, it’s got to stop!
    Average people like me are loosing faith in the righteousness of true law enforcers. Sad isn’t it.
    My last thought on this issue is… it’s also very unnerving to think that they are going to stress the fact that he served his country in Iraq, as well all know how we as Americans feel about our vets. Low blow Rambo Terminator cop & lawyer.

  6. My law firm practices in the area of animal law and is taking a keen interest in this story. Public pressure is the only way to get justice for Bear Bear. This cop cannot be much of a soldier if he claims his life was in danger from a dog.

  7. To Joshua…I’m sure the family would appreciate your firm sharing their expertise. Don’t just sit on the sidelines, get in there….
    It would be really rewarding for all of us interested in seeing a fair outcome for the family to see some legal assistance stepping up in their behalf.

  8. Joshua,

    does your firm teach classes for citizens to handle an aggressive dog? how do ou know how much of a soldier he is?

    have you ever been attacked by a vicous dog?

  9. John,

    “Officer Shephard likely would have to register his handgun with the Maryland State Police ”

    registration occurs when you purchase the weapon.

  10. BCPD~
    This dog was not vicious. There were no marks on Keith Shephard, his wife or his dog. He was not concerned enough about his dog to have it checked out by a vet. Have you ever seen big dogs play?

  11. The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act allows all sworn law enforcement officers the right to carry a firearm across state lines as long as they have identifcation. That said, DODI 5525.12 states the only DoD agencies LEOSA applies to are Air Force Office of Special Investigation, Navy Crim Investigation Service, Army Criminal Investagion Service, and the Pentagon Police. Therefore, if Mr Shepherd was not a member of one of those branches, LEOSA did not apply to him.

  12. DODI 5525.12 states that only AF Special Investigations, NCIS, Army CIS, and the Pentagon Police are covered under the LEOSA. If Mr Shepherd was not a member of one of those agencies, then he was not authorized to carry a gun off-base. Further, if he was a contractor, w/out the powers of arrest off Ft Myer, and he stated to AACPD that he was a federal police officer, then he could also be guilty of impersonating a federal police officer. Relevant precedent was US Gov v. Rowe, 2007, involving a NASA Goddard Security Guard who attempted a traffic stop on the B/W Pkwy who claimed to be a federal police officer to a State Trooper. The 4th Circuit upheld the conviction just this year.

  13. Well, from what I read, he sounds like a complete looney, who is impersonating a police officer, so I hope he is charged with that, too.

  14. BCPD~
    Were YOU there to know that he WAS vicious? I based my comment/observation on the FACT that NONE of the parties involved here, except for Bear Bear, had ANY evidence of injury. Shepherd was not concerned enough about his own dog to take it to a vet to be looked at. If they would have been dealing with a truly vicious dog, there would have been a mark somewhere. If there was a party at the park that night that was dangerous and vicious, it was Shepherd and not Bear Bear..

  15. Bob E. and mdfirmbutfair,
    That DODI only outlines procedures for DOD elements with statutory powers of arrest granted under federal law. It does not consider or exclude any other elements that may have been granted powers of arrest under certain state laws. Department of the Army Civililian Police in New York are covered under LEOSA because of the statutory powers of arrest granted by New York State. New York has already recognized that the law applies to officers here. My point was that there are a bunch of possabilities to consider when determining if he was legally carrying the firearm.

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