Officer, Man He Killed Had Ties to Same House

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 26, 2006

The D.C. police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man last week was renovating a house where the man lived and had recently filed a police report alleging that $1,360 in tools were stolen from the residence.

The theft is one of several new details to emerge as authorities continue to investigate the shooting Wednesday of Ignatius G. Brown, 51, by off-duty police officer Edward M. Ford.

Ford, 48, has been placed on administrative duties pending the outcome of an internal investigation into the shooting. He could not be located for comment yesterday. His attorney, Harold Martin, has said that Ford is cooperating with investigators.

Brown lived in a rowhouse in the 1200 block of Oates Street NE, about two blocks from where the shooting occurred. The house is owned by members of Brown's family, who were planning to sell it to Ford, one neighbor said.

Ford had been doing renovation work at the house, police said.

On Feb. 16, a week before the shooting, Ford filed a police report that said his tools had been stolen from the Oates Street house. Among the items that he said were taken: an air compressor, circular saw, nail gun, staple gun, miter saw and drill. The value of the items was listed as $1,360.

The report does not identify Brown or any suspects. But it notes that the "owner's brother," whom police and neighbors identified as Brown, had a "key to the property."

No charges were filed, but police officials said that officers were seeking Brown to question him about the incident.

It is not clear how well Brown and Ford knew each other.

Ford told at least one neighbor shortly after the theft to call police if he spotted Brown. By then a warrant had been issued for Brown's arrest, according to the resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to anger Brown's family.

The shooting occurred about a week later. Police said Ford was driving in the area about 3 p.m. Wednesday when he spotted Brown at West Virginia Avenue and Neal Street in Northeast. Ford told a bystander to call 911 as he approached Brown, police said.

Brown then made a threatening motion and Ford drew his gun, police said, citing a preliminary investigation. Brown lunged at Ford, the officer's gun fired and a bullet hit Brown in the chest, police said.

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