Officers Fatally Shoot Man Holding Cane They Mistook For a Gun


Harford County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to reports of an armed suicidal man at a shopping center on April 23.

When officers arrived, they found 53-year-old John Fauver in his pickup truck, in the parking lot.

Fauver ran over a curb and sped away from deputies when they initially approached him. When deputies were able to make contact with Fauver, they say he was being defiant and acting belligerent.

Fauver told deputies, “I’m so ready to die, man.”

In one of the released bodycam footage, Sgt. Bradford Sives urges Fauver to calm down, put his arms up and stop reaching for things in his truck. Sgt. Sives and the other deputies repeatedly told him they didn’t want to hurt him.

Fauver then raised his arms while holding a long object in one of his hands. Deputies say he was raising the unidentified object towards them.

Deputies at the scene, including those who were standing in front of Fauver with their guns drawn, fired several shots at him, killing him.

Cpl. Christopher Maddox’s bodycam footage was also released. In the video he can be heard yelling, “He’s reaching, he’s reaching. He’s got a gun! He’s got the gun!”

Cpl. Maddox was the first to fire his handgun before several gun blasts followed.

Among the deputies who fired shots at Fauver, was Sgt. Sives who yelled, “It’s a cane! It’s a cane! It’s a cane!”

Fauver was pronounced deceased.

Harford County State’s Attorney Albert Peisinger Jr. determined deputies’ use of deadly force was, “necessary and proportional and not unreasonable.”

Fauver’s family reportedly say he struggled with pain, opioid addiction, and mental health issues.

His wife, Jennifer Bridges, confronted him about seeking help for his depression the day of the fatal shooting. Fauver then stormed out of the house, threatening suicide, and left in his truck where he kept a shotgun locked away.


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