Off-duty officer shoots suspect during attempted carjacking, authorities say

An off-duty Mount Rainier police officer shot and critically wounded a suspect who tried to carjack him in Capitol Heights Saturday, authorities said.

The incident occurred about 6 a.m. in the 700 block of Glacier Avenue, said Mount Rainier Police Chief Michael Scott. Scott said the officer was off-duty and in plain clothes when someone tried to carjack him in his personal vehicle. The precise details remain unclear, but Scott said the two got into some sort of altercation that ended when the officer shot the suspect multiple times in the upper body.

A Prince George’s County police spokesman said the suspect was alive in the hospital Tuesday, but he knew no other details about his condition. Scott said the officer, 27-year-old Gene C. Gillette, who has been on the force for three-and-a-half years, has been suspended with pay while authorities investigate the incident — standard procedure for officer-involved shootings.

Scott said Gillette was treated and released at a nearby hospital for injuries he sustained during the attack, though Gillette was not shot. Scott said he did not know where Gillette was headed when the incident occurred.

Both Scott and a Prince George’s County police spokesman said they did not know whether the suspect had been charged and could not name him until he was.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.
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