Police: Man whom Prince George’s officer wounded came at him with knife

October 8, 2012

A Prince George’s County police officer shot and wounded a 24-year-old man who police say tried to cut his own neck, then came at the officer with a knife outside an apartment in the Bladensburg area Sunday night.

The unusual sequence of events began just after 7 p.m., when a 21-year-old woman called 911 twice — once to say her ex-boyfriend had knocked down the door to her home and threatened her, and another time to say he had assaulted her, said Cpl. Larry Johnson, a Prince George’s County police spokesman. He said officers were sent to the 3500 block of 55th Avenue and began talking with the woman.

Johnson said that at some point, the ex-boyfriend returned and began cutting his own neck with a knife. He said officers repeatedly ordered him to drop the weapon, but the 24-year-old man “aggressively approached the officers with the knife still in hand.” One of the officers, Johnson said, shot and wounded him.

Police identified the wounded man as Damon Earl Wilson and said he was being charged with attempted second-degree murder and other related counts. Efforts to locate a working phone number for his family members were unsuccessful.

The officer involved has four years of experience.

Johnson said Wilson was hospitalized with injuries not thought to be life threatening.

The woman who called police and the officer were not injured, Johnson said. He said the officer — who he also declined to immediately identify — had been placed on paid administrative leave, standard procedure for police involved in shootings.

On Monday, a large blood stain remained on the sidewalk outside an apartment building in the 3500 block of 55th Avenue, a reminder of what had happened the night before. Those inside the building reported hearing as many as three gunshots after some commotion, but they said they did not see the shooting itself.

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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