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Posted at 3:05 AM ET, 08/11/2010

Pr. George's police shoot 3 after cruiser is rammed

By Erica Johnston

Update, 3:05 a.m.:

A Prince George’s County police officer shot three men after a vehicle pursuit that ended outside the county courthouse in Upper Marlboro late Wednesday night, police said.

As of 2 a.m. Thursday, one of the suspects was listed in critical condition at a local hospital, said Capt. Misty Mints, a police spokeswoman. The other two men sustained injuries that were not believed to be life threatening, Mints said.

None of the officers involved was injured.

The incident began just before 11 p.m., when an officer was driving around Campus Way South, an area where several armed robberies have been reported recently. The officer saw several people standing around a burgundy-colored van in the parking lot in front of a business, apparently engaging in "suspicious" activities, Mints said. The van was later found to be stolen.

Upon seeing the officer, some members of the group fled, Mints said. Three men jumped into the van and drove along Route 202. The officer followed.

Minutes later, the van drove into the parking lot of the district courthouse, in the 14700 block of Main Street. Its driver then began to double back around, apparently realizing that he had run into a dead end.

Facing the oncoming van was a different police cruiser occupied by two police officers, Mints said. Believing that the van’s occupants were going to bail out and run, the officers exited their vehicle.

The van then accelerated, ran over a parking sign and struck the front of the cruiser on the driver’s side, Mints said. At the same time, the officer who had been driving dove back into the cruiser and crouched inside.

The other officer, unable to see his partner, assumed that the van had struck him and was dragging him across the ground, Mints said. He began firing through the van’s window, striking all three passengers and critically injuring the driver.

It was not immediately clear how many shots were fired, Mints said. The investigation continues.

Neither of the officers was injured.

-- Stephanie Lee

Earlier:
Prince George’s County police shot three suspects after the three tried to ram a police cruiser after a pursuit late Wednesday night that ended near the Prince George's County Courthouse in Upper Marlboro, police said.

The suspects, who were in a vehicle, had also tried to strike a police officer who was on foot, said Erica Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Prince George’s County police department.

The three were then shot by police officers, Johnson said. The incident occurred on Judges Drive in Upper Marlboro, Md., minutes before 11 p.m.

The conditions of the suspects were not known as of 11:45 p.m. No officers were injured, Johnson said. Additional details were not immediately available.

-- Stephanie Lee

By Erica Johnston  | August 11, 2010; 3:05 AM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, Maryland  
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