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Suspect Fatally Shot By Officers in D.C.

Man Pulled Gun in Traffic Stop, Police Say

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 10, 2005; Page B02

A 47-year-old man was fatally shot by police yesterday after he pulled out a handgun during a traffic stop on a busy street in Southeast Washington, authorities said.

Authorities did not identify the man or the officers involved in the shooting, and they gave conflicting accounts about whether the man opened fire at police.

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The incident began about 3 p.m. when two U.S. Park Police officers pulled over a motorist driving a black Toyota with Maryland tags, authorities said. They stopped the motorist for an undisclosed traffic violation in the 2700 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, in front of several shops and near a charter school, police said.

A D.C. police officer who was patrolling the area on foot assisted the Park Police officers during the stop, authorities said.

Park Police officers ordered the motorist out of his car. Authorities said the man complied and was standing by the vehicle when he dropped some change. While appearing to retrieve the coins, he reached inside his jacket and pulled a handgun from a shoulder holster, police officials said.

The three officers then opened fire, authorities said. Police officials initially said the motorist also fired his weapon, but they later said they were not sure that was the case.

The man was taken to Howard University Hospital, where he died. No one else was injured in the shooting. At least one bullet went into a business across the street.

Police recovered a 9mm handgun from the man, a police source said. Last night, authorities were reviewing a video of the incident recorded by Park Police. Although the man's name had not been released pending notification of relatives, the police source said the man's residence was listed as being in the Bryans Road area of Charles County.

Some residents and others in the area expressed surprise that a shooting would occur just before the evening rush hour. They said the area, though rough at night and known for drug dealing, is relatively peaceful in the afternoon. "This doesn't happen every day up here," said Donald Hines, who works at a neighborhood education and job training program. "It's usually quiet."

Brenda Brown, an eighth-grade teacher at the nearby Southeast Academy charter school, said the shooting shocked her students.

"It's getting to the point where this is unsafe for our students," Brown said. "The students were frightened when they learned about it, actually frightened. It was difficult to keep them focused on the lesson."

Staff writer Allan Lengel contributed to this report.

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