Police Believe Fellow Officer Shot D.C. Detective by Mistake

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A D.C. police detective who was shot during a confrontation with a kidnapping suspect Sunday was apparently struck by a bullet fired by another officer, police sources said yesterday.

Detective Tomas Rosenborg was expected to be released last night from Washington Hospital Center, where he was treated for a wound to his buttocks, police said. The kidnapping suspect, identified by police as Derrick Arthur, 34, remained at large, authorities said.

Police had said on Sunday that it was unclear whether the 38-year-old detective was shot by Arthur or hit by another officer's gunfire during the incident outside the Days Inn in Northeast Washington. Arthur slipped away by dashing into the woods of the National Arboretum, police said.

Although authorities now believe that the shot that hit Rosenborg came from police, the sources cautioned that the findings are preliminary and that more tests are being conducted. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.

Police spent hours searching the arboretum Sunday and continued the manhunt yesterday. Heavily armed tactical officers stormed a rowhouse in Southeast Washington yesterday morning after receiving a tip that Arthur was there, but they did not find him. Arthur's last known address was in the 100 block of Irvington Street SW, police said.

New details emerged yesterday about the shooting and events that led up to it. Police said the trouble began about 5 a.m. Sunday when Arthur allegedly abducted a 26-year-old woman from her home in Southeast Washington. He was armed, they said.

Using sophisticated tracking devices, police traced Arthur's cellular phone to the Days Inn in the 2700 block of New York Avenue. Several officers, including Rosenborg, stationed themselves before noon outside Arthur's room and in the parking lot, where they waited for the special operation division's tactical teams to assist.

Arthur was armed with a handgun, the sources said, and may have even fired a round from his motel room. At one point, after spotting police outside his room, he dragged out the victim and yelled that she was responsible for bringing police there, the sources said.

He then forced the woman back into the room, the sources said. About noon, Arthur used a remote-control device to start his 2001 silver Infiniti in the parking lot, ran outside and jumped behind the wheel, they said.

An armored police truck approached Arthur's car and tried to block its path. But Arthur allegedly veered away from the truck and gunned his car toward an officer in the parking lot. A tactical officer fired a round at the car with a submachine gun, the sources said.

The car then veered onto a sidewalk and nearly ran over another officer, the sources said. Two other officers apparently opened fire on the car with pistols, they said.

Arthur then sped at Rosenborg and was close enough to hit him, the sources said, but he lost control of the car and struck an iron fence. Investigators believe Rosenborg was struck about that time by a round from an officer trying to shoot the driver, the sources said.

Investigators are trying to determine whether the round came from a pistol or a submachine gun. The sources said investigators believe that officers fired fewer than 10 rounds in the parking lot.

It does not appear that Arthur fired any shots at the officers, but sources said at least one tactical officer spotted a handgun in the car.

After crashing, Arthur jumped a fence, ran across New York Avenue NE and into the arboretum, police said. Authorities urged anyone with information about his whereabouts to call detectives at 202-727-9099.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company