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Maryland state trooper shot, killed

This post was updated at 11:30 a.m.

An off-duty Maryland state police officer was shot and killed early Friday in the parking lot of a Forestville area restaurant, police said.

Wesley Brown, 24, was shot shortly before 12:40 a.m. at the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar on Donnell Drive after an incident inside the restaurant involving a “disorderly” customer who refused to pay a bill, Col. Michael Blow told reporters.

Maryland State Trooper Wesley Brown. (AP/Maryland State Police)

Brown, who was working part-time as a security officer at the Applebee's, escorted the individual outside, police said. About 30 minutes later, a gunman ambushed the trooper as he exited the restaurant. The man who disputed his bill is considered a “person of interest,” police said, but they are not limiting their search to him.

Brown appeared to have been shot without warning as he spoke on a mobile phone, Terrence B. Sheridan, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police, told reporters. Brown was wearing a jacket that displayed the word “police” and he had a marked police car in front of the restaurant, police said.

The wounded trooper stumbled into the restaurant covered in blood, at which point patrons called 911, police said.

Brown was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. It wasn't clear how many times he had been shot, but multiple casings were found in the parking lot, Sheridan said.

“We have recovered a lot of evidence,” Maj. Andy Ellis, a county police department spokesman, said.


Police at the scene of the shooting Friday morning. (Gerald Martineau/Post)

Police describe the suspect, who fled on foot, as an African American male between about 5’ 6” and 5' 8" weighing about 130 pounds with short hair and a little bit of a beard who was wearing a Hugo Boss jacket. He is considered armed and dangerous, police said.

A perimeter was set up immediately after police arrived at the scene and a search is ongoing. More than 50 witnesses have been interviewed, police said.

“We won’t stop until we find this man,” Sheridan said.

Terrence B. Sheridan, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police, and Gov. Martin O'Malley speak to reporters. (Gerald Martineau/Post)

Gov. Martin O'Malley told reporters that the investigation is “very, very active.”

“There are a small number of brutal, cold people that would take another’s life without thinking about it,” O'Malley said. “That’s what happened here.”

Brown, a 3 ½-year veteran of the Maryland State Police, was an active member of the Seat Pleasant community, where he attended Crossland High School and studied criminal justice at Prince George’s Community College Community College in Largo. He was the youngest cadet in his police academy class to graduate.

In 2007, he founded a mentoring group, Young Men Enlightening Younger Men, that would take teenagers on field trips throughout the D.C. area to places like the National Zoo and museums, and bring in professionals to give talks.

Brown described the group’s mission on its Web site to help kids struggling academically.

“What happens to those who try, but who just don’t make it because of poor school systems or a lack of support from home? Where does he go?” Brown wrote. “We believe that if a young man is trying to make himself a better man and a productive member of society, then we are PROUD of him.”

Brown found common cause with struggling kids, having run into problems himself as a high school student, according to a 2007 Maryland Gazette article. At one point, he was kicked out of school for fighting.

“When I got expelled, it kind of upset my family,” Brown told the paper. “So from then I had to do right. That’s why I started working, staying out of trouble and doing well in school.”

Eugene Grant, the mayor of Seat Pleasant, said Brown “was a tremendous light in our community.”

“He was an excellent example of someone who not only served and protected, but also gave back to his community,” Grant said.

“He always had a smile on his face,” he said.

Brown had recently become engaged to be married.

The last Maryland State trooper to die in the line of duty was Mickey C. Lippy, 34, a trooper and paramedic who was killed when his helicopter crashed in bad weather in Prince George's County.

-- Mike McPhate, David Nakamura and Ruben Castaneda

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By Mike McPhate  |  June 11, 2010; 4:59 AM ET
Categories:  Police Shootings , Pr. George's  | Tags: Forestville Md., Maryland state police, Prince George's County, officer shot  
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Bad news from a rough part of town. I could say something about lax gun laws, but won't. CB

Posted by: chrisbrown12 | June 11, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Trooper Brown was and will always be remembered as a smiling, bright spirit. I can't grasp how a "productive life" can be lost over a bum trying to beat a check. RIP my son. The Ellerbe's

Posted by: EJADECT | June 11, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Let's hope they find this bottom-feeder and hang him up by his gonads. He destroyed an inspiring young man. Trooper Brown, RIP.

Posted by: Baltimore11 | June 11, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Please save the negative comments for another post . Regardless of what neighborhood it is , a son .... nephew .... friend .... mentor .... fiance'...friend was lost. He was a good, positive influence in that so-called bad area (chrisbrown12)and that's all that matters right now - finding the person who did this so , if u have nothing to say up-lifting , just dont say anything .

RIP Wes aka Wesley Brown

Crossland Highschool class of 2004

Gone , but u will never be forgotten


Posted by: a_v_d6291 | June 11, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

What a tragedy that a young man dedicating his life to helping his community is taken away like this. We are poorer without him.

I find it a bit ironic that O'Malley voices support but will not support the death penalty for the worst criminal acts like this.

Posted by: numbersch13 | June 11, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Is the perp a product of the community? or is the community a product of the perp? just a thought.

Posted by: rmiles5598 | June 11, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

No one has the right to take another's life! Stop the violence!! Trooper Wesley Brown is a hero, he cared about the young people in Seat Pleasant and showed his love by dedicating his life and support - his mission to help and show these young people that they matter. They can be successful, and that he cared about them. Seat Pleasant, MD and Forestville, MD have good, decent, hardworking, successful, honorable young people. Let us come together now so that Wesley would not have died in vain. My prayers and condolences to his mother and siblings, no mother should have to lose her son this way. May you have comfort and strength and know that we love you.

Posted by: ycgillespie | June 11, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

My heart is broken. I am a retired police officer and my heart is broken...God bless you trooper...God bless you and your prayers go out to you......The scum that killed you.....he must pay!!!!!

Posted by: titan0785 | June 12, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Syracuse, N.Y. feels the loss for this trooper !!! Hope the heartless killer gets cought soon and taken off the streets !!!

Posted by: lakesidefire15 | June 14, 2010 5:17 AM | Report abuse

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