A 16-year-old Maryland teen who was fatally shot by a state trooper while armed with a toy gun and knife was a “sweet young man” and honors student, relatives said.
Peyton Alexander Ham, who attended Leonardtown High School, was remembered as a “talented” honors student with promise Wednesday in the wake of the shooting.
His family said that he was a “an incredibly smart, gifted sweet young man” with an “Alex P. Keaton” type personality, referring to the overachieving TV character played by Michael J. Fox on “Family Ties.”
“Our family is absolutely heart broken and shattered over this sudden, unexpected loss of life of a talented young man, filled with promise,” his family said in a statement. “Words cannot express the gratitude our family is feeling with the overwhelming love and support being extended by our friends and family in our amazing community.”
Ham’s mother, Kristee Boyle, described the teen as “an awesome young man.”
“It’s a horrific situation,” Boyle said.
Ham was shot Tuesday afternoon in Leonardtown by a trooper responding to reports of a possibly armed person acting suspiciously, according to State Police Superintendent Woodrow Jones III.
A witness told police that they saw Ham in the driveway “in a shooting stance” and pointing an airsoft gun at the trooper, who opened fire on the teen and wounded him, Jones said.
Another witness said the wounded Ham whipped out a knife and tried to get up, Jones said.
“The trooper ordered him to drop the knife before he fired again,” Jones told reporters.
First-aid was performed at the scene on Ham, but he later died at a nearby hospital, authorities said.
With Post wires