Jury Finds Man Guilty After Shooting Himself On Beach Last Summer

Jury Finds Man Guilty After Shooting Himself On Beach Last Summer
Ocean City police personnel are pictured last summer when beach access was closed so investigators could gather evidence in a reported shooting. Photo by Chris Parypa

SNOW HILL — A Frederick man, arrested last June after shooting himself in the leg and disposing of the illegal handgun on the beach, resulting in the beach being closed for nearly an entire day, was found guilty this week in Worcester County Circuit Court on various charges.

Around 12:30 a.m. last June 9, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to the 75th Street Medical Center where an individual attempted to seek medical attention for a gunshot wound to his leg. The investigation revealed Ibrahima Diallo, 19, was carrying an unlicensed handgun without a permit when he accidentally discharged the weapon, striking himself in the leg.

Diallo told police the incident occurred on the beach in the area of 83rd Street, although he could not tell police for certain where he disposed of the gun. Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of residents, visitors and beachgoers, OCPD officers closed the beach from 81st Street to 85th Street and worked throughout the following day using a variety of search techniques to ensure the weapon was not on the beach. Ultimately, the OCPD did not locate a weapon and determined the vast stretch of beach was safe for the public.

OCPD detectives applied for charges against Diallo and he was ultimately charged with having a handgun on his person, obstructing and hindering and concealing a dangerous weapon. On Tuesday, a Worcester County jury found Diallo guilty of having a handgun on his person, possession of a firearm by a minor and illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition after being disqualified.

When OCPD officers responded to the 75th Medical Center last summer, Diallo informed officers he had been shot by an unknown individual. Diallo later retracted that statement and admitted he shot himself and lost the handgun somewhere on the beach.

At trial on Tuesday, Diallo’s attorney asserted his original statement was true and that he had, in fact, been shot by a friend. The defense argued at trial Diallo did not want to incriminate his friend.

Assistant State’s Attorney Lauren Bourdon argued Diallo’s defense defied logic. The jury ultimately agreed, returning guilty verdicts on all counts.

Interim State’s Attorney William McDermott said after the trial Diallo from the beginning had been deceptive about the incident.

“Mr. Diallo tried to game the system,” he said. “He thought he could lie to the Ocean City Police Department and use smoke and mirrors on a Worcester County jury. He obviously underestimated both.”

Sentencing was deferred pending a pre-sentence investigation.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.