A suburban Washington, D.C., police officer who died in an unprovoked shootout on Sunday was killed by an “errant round” fired by one of his fellow officers, authorities said Monday.
Prince George’s County, Md., Police Chief Henry Stawinski III said Detective Jacai Colson arrived at the county police District III station in Landover, Md. in an unmarked vehicle “and found himself in the middle of a gunfight.”
Stawinski identified the suspect as Michael Ford, 22, and said Ford’s brothers, Malik, 21, and Elijah, 18, filmed the shooting. The chief described the attack as a so-called suicide-by-cop, saying the three brothers “did not expect the shooter (Michael Ford) in this to survive.”
“Heroically, Detective Colson reacted to a set of circumstances that, frankly, I don’t think he was entirely prepared for. Seeing the danger presented by Michael the shooter, he took action, and in doing so demonstrated extreme heroism, because it was his actions that allowed officers to take a position where they could intervene and neutralize the threat.” He didn’t elaborate on what Colson’s actions were that allowed the other officers to “neutralize” the threat.
Stawinski said the other six officers showed “incredible restraint” while engaging Ford in the midafternoon attack, which unfolded on a busy street with homes nearby and cars passing by. “They are not panicking,” he said. “They are not shooting randomly.”
He said Ford fired at several passing cars as well as an ambulance during the shootout.
All three will be charged with second-degree murder, six counts of attempted first-degree murder, nine counts of use of a handgun in the commission of a felony and other charges.
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