Germantown Man Shot by Police in Critical Condition

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By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 29, 2009; 7:27 PM

The 31-year-old Germantown man shot by a Montgomery County police officer Monday was hit by four bullets and grazed by a fifth, a police spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Ingham "Andre" DeFreitas remained hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday evening after the shooting a day before in Darnestown, when he charged and attacked the officer, police said. Both men were out of their cars at the time. As of Tuesday, there was no indication that DeFreitas had a weapon.

"He has stabilized and he's going to make it," DeFreitas's attorney, Rebecca Nitkin, said Tuesday night.

Nitkin said she spoke with DeFreitas's mother, who is a critical care nurse, who told her that her son was hit by five bullets, all entering the front of his body. "The most serious injury is to his left lung," Nitkin said.

A neighbor who heard the incident said he heard five shots -- two quick rounds, followed by several seconds of silence, then one round followed by several seconds of silence, and then two quick rounds. "Bam-bam . . . bam . . . bam-bam," said the neighbor, Jay Wheeler.

It was unclear what DeFreitas was doing in the driveway. He has been arrested numerous times since at least 1998, and has been convicted of theft, auto theft and drug possession with intent to distribute, according to online court records.

Nitkin said DeFreitas has a learning disability but had recently graduated from college, part of a larger effort to turn his life around. "He comes from a wonderful family," Nitkin said. "This is a tragedy for everyone involved."

Monday's incident began about 3:40 p.m., when police received a report of a suspicious situation in the 14000 block of Indian Run Drive. A homeowner, concerned about a dark-colored sedan coming up his long private driveway, went out to confront DeFreitas, who at some point tried to turn his 2000 Cadillac Catera around, got it stuck in wet grass, and climbed out.

"What are you doing?" the homeowner asked, according to police.

Officer Kurt Colson, a two-year veteran of the department assigned to the 5th District station in Germantown, arrived and approached the driver on foot, police said. The driver "charged and then attacked" the officer, witnesses at the scene later told detectives, according to police.

Detectives had not spoken with Colson or DeFreitas as of Tuesday evening.

There were no other officers at the scene when Colson fired. Colson immediately administered first aid to DeFreitas, as did arriving officers and paramedics. DeFreitas was conscious as he was taken to a hospital, police said.

Researcher Meg Smith contributed to this report.

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