Police: D.C. officer shoots robbery suspect

December 25, 2012

A police officer interrupted an armed robbery early Tuesday, chasing the gunman and shooting him several times during a standoff on a Southeast Washington street, according to a department spokesman.

Police said the suspect, identified as 31-year-old Paul Smith of Southeast, was being treated under guard at an undisclosed hospital. He was charged with kidnapping, robbery while armed and felony assault on a police officer, according to police. The extent of his injuries was unclear.

The officer was not hurt, according Officer Araz Alali, a police spokesman. He was placed on administrative duties pending the outcome of an investigation, which is customary with police-involved shootings.

A D.C. police spokesman declined to name the officer. A police report identified him as Mohammed Monir, who has been on the force 5 1/2 years and is assigned to the Seventh District.

The gunman, who was armed with a 9mm handgun, did not fire his weapon, police said.

Authorities described a chaotic chain of events that began about 1:30 a.m. in the Barry Farm neighborhood at Sumner Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Police said Smith approached three people in a car and asked for a ride home. The police report says that the people in the car, a silver four-door Dodge Challenger, recognized Smith from the neighborhood and agreed to help him. Smith told the driver he would provide money for gas, the report says.

The driver went about 2 1/2 miles south to Chesapeake Street Southwest where the report says Smith took out a handgun and ordered all three occupants out of the car, telling them to lie on the ground and give him their money.

The police report says after Smith noticed that one of the victims had an ATM card, he ordered them all back into the car; they drove to a PNC Bank in the 4100 block of South Capitol St. SE. One occupant ran away as the other went to withdraw money. Police said Smith kept his gun trained on another person in the car.

Someone called police, according to authorities, and Monir responded. A police spokesman initially said the officer was off-duty and not wearing his uniform, and had walked by as the robbery was occurring. Police later said that Monir was on duty and in uniform.

The police report says Monir ordered Smith to drop the gun and Smith refused and ran. Monir chased him back to Chesapeake Street. The report says Smith “began aiming the handgun” at Monir who “in fear of his life discharged his MPD issued service weapon.”

Police said Smith was struck several times.

In a separate case, D.C. police said they arrested two men in connection with a robbery spree that occurred late Monday and early Tuesday. Police said men wearing black masks and driving a four-door car held up three people at gunpoint.

The attacks occurred between 11:15 p.m. and 12:15 a.m. in the 200 block of Hamilton St. NW, the 3600 block of Jefferson St. NE and the 1700 block of Varnum St. NW. In each case, police said, the occupants of the car drove up to pedestrians and jumped out to rob them. Police said they stole money, credit cards, a cell phone, an iPhone and an iPad.

Police said officer spotted the car, a Dodge Intrepid, early Tuesday in at 56th Street and Central Ave., in Southeast, and arrested two of four men inside after a brief car chase that ended at East Capitol Street and Texas Avenue.

Alfonzo Ferrell, 21, of Northwest, and Floyd Long, 21, of Southeast, were each charged with three counts of robbery while armed, according to D.C. police.

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