Md. trainer who shot recruit faces assault charges

William Scott Kern, 46, faces counts of second-degree assault and reckless endangerment for the accident

By Justin Fenton and Jessica Anderson
The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore police training supervisor who shot a recruit during an unauthorized training exercise last month will face criminal charges after being indicted Wednesday by a Baltimore County grand jury.

William Scott Kern, 46, faces counts of second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, both misdemeanors. The indictment comes six weeks after the shooting during an exercise at the shuttered Rosewood Center in Owings Mills.

Kern, a Carroll County resident who had worked at the city training academy for more than a decade, turned himself at the state police Golden Ring barracks. He was released on his own recognizance.

Kern's attorney, Shaun Owens, said the shooting was a "tragedy," and his client never meant to hurt anyone. The victim, Raymond Gray, is a University of Maryland police recruit who was training with city officers.

"This does not require pointing the finger at someone," Owens said. "It does not require blame. We will look forward to our day in court."
Wednesday's indictment offered no details of the investigation, which was conducted by the state police. Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger declined to comment.

Sources have said that Gray had peered through a window and Kern, an 18-year veteran, fired at him with what he thought was a gun that expelled paintball-like pellets. Instead, he had grabbed his service weapon. Gray was not participating in a drill at the time, the sources said, and was critically wounded after taking a bullet to the front of the head.

Gray's attorney, A. Dwight Pettit, said the recruit and his family were pleased that charges had been filed. Discharged from University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center last month, Gray remained hospitalized and unable to communicate.

But Pettit said he has made tremendous progress since then: Gray cannot only talk but is walking, and Pettit expects he will be able to eat without the aid of a feeding tube soon.

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