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Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 12/10/2010

Suspect shot in gun battle with police

By Matt Zapotosky
Matt Zapotosky

A Prince George's County police officer shot and critically wounded a robbery suspect Thursday night after the suspect fired at least one shot at him at point blank range, authorities said.

The suspect, an 18-year-old from Landover, remained hospitalized with life threatening injuries Friday morning, authorities said. Maj. Andrew Ellis, the department's public affairs commander, said the officer hit him with several shots. The officer, he said, was not injured.

The incident began about 8 p.m. Thursday, when officers were called to the townhouse community on Cedarwood Court in Landover for a reported robbery, Ellis said. Officers from the police department's District III robbery suppression team got a description of the suspect and remained in the area looking for him, Ellis said.

The effort paid off about an hour later, when an officer spotted a man matching the description of the robbery suspect, Ellis said. The officer stopped the man and started giving him a pat down, he said. When the officer felt what he thought was a gun, the situation turned violent, Ellis said.

The man struggled to keep the gun from the officer, eventually drawing it and firing at least one shot, Ellis said. The officer, a seven-year veteran who was alone with the suspect, drew his own weapon and returned fire, striking the suspect several times, Ellis said.

After he was shot, the man ran about 100 yards to a nearby 7-Eleven, still carrying his gun, Ellis said. Other officers intercepted him there and wrestled the gun away from him, Ellis said. He said the gun was a Taurus 9mm with a serial number that had been obliterated.

Ellis declined to identify the suspect by name because he has not yet been charged with any crimes. He also declined to identify the officer because it is department policy to wait 24 hours before doing so.

Ellis said at least preliminarily, it appears the officer's actions were justified.

"It's only by the grace of god that we're not planning a police officer's funeral today," Ellis said, adding that initially, the officer believed he had been struck by gunfire. "It's hard to understand how somebody could ... walk around with a handgun with an obliterated serial number, rob somebody, and then shoot at a police officer - at the tender age of 18. Clearly, this was a dangerous person."

The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave, as is department policy for officer-involved shootings, Ellis said. He said police initially took into custody another suspect believed to have been either involved in the robbery or an associate of the man who was shot. That person's involvement, he said, remains unclear.

By Matt Zapotosky  | December 10, 2010; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  Matt Zapotosky, Pr. George's  
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Next: Man charged with killing D.C. teenager

Comments

Yep...sure seems like another unjustified police shooting to me.
"After he was shot, the man ran about 100 yards to a nearby 7-Eleven, still carrying his gun, Ellis said. Other officers intercepted him there and wrestled the gun away from him, Ellis said. He said the gun was a Taurus 9mm with a serial number that had been obliterated."
I simply cannot wait for someone to attempt to lay the blame for this incident on the police officers.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | December 10, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm all broken up about what happened to this perp. I won't be able to sleep tonite.
Sniff.

Mean old pigs.

Posted by: TaxiDriver | December 10, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse


The gun was a Taurus 9mm with a serial number that had been obliterated.

CONGRATULATIONS, Matt Zapotosky.

Reporting about the gun is crucial to cleaning up our neighborhoods.

As the police investigation continues, the serial number should be revealed and that should be public information.

The entire provenance of the gun should be exposed.

You and the POST should stay on top of the police to release that information as soon as possible as it does not HURT the ongoing investigation, it HELPS.

We need to know how the gun got from the factory to the crime scene, including the name of the seller and the name of anyone who owned it along the way.

Posted by: polecatx1 | December 10, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

If you are looking a good Criminal Justice degree I strongly recommend "United Forensic College" there you can get the best training to solve crimes.

Posted by: gomezstega | December 11, 2010 5:14 AM | Report abuse

Duhh?

Obvously, this guy was not the smartest in his pitiful DC school. However, how do these goofball think that getting into a gunbattle with police will have a good outcome. It is such a no-brainer (except to somebody with no brain, I guess).

Wobble

Posted by: wobbleman47 | December 11, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Too bad money has to be spent in healing, trying, convicting, and jailing this 18 year old waste of DNA.

Posted by: ahashburn | December 12, 2010 5:45 AM | Report abuse

Whole town robbed without gun here and the new thing is tracing guns as the budget goes up in smoke. Liquor store loses $100 to guy with old .38 and it's a federal case. Crook in Big Apple steals $40 billion and instead of throwing the book at him, they throw money at him to steal more money and make campaign contributions. You need forensics to find somebody with an operational brain cell.

Posted by: jobandon | December 12, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Note: Shooting at police means you have no operating brain cell. Then you'll wish you were dead and not even know why. You'll be in a cell and they'll be feeding you. Waste of food, too stupid to live. The chicken you are eating was smarter than you. The beef had you beat by a mile. Suicide has an upside. It's not for everybody. The mob rules and the check is in the mail from Washington to expand the mob because it votes. Every year the elections cost more and the lies get bigger. Now the Chicago mob is in power, so there's no telling how bad it's going to get. Tank your corporation and get a big fat treasury check and swell chick.

Posted by: jobandon | December 12, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Just how good is this police officer's marksmanship skills? He returns fire hitting the suspect several times and the suspect still manages to flee. Just wondering, why did the officer stop shooting at this dangerous punk and allow him to reach a public place where bystanders could have been harmed or taken hostage? In future, shoot until out of ammo, then reload and continue firing.

Posted by: wilpajones | December 12, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Hoping and praying the suspect dies so we can avoid the trial and housing the animal for the rest of his life.

Posted by: dominic10464 | December 12, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

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