Struggle over gun injures Pr. George's officer and attempted-robbery suspect

An evidence technician with the Prince George's County police dusts for fingerprints at the BB&T branch in Bowie. An off-duty officer foiled the attempted robbery of man headed to the bank to make a deposit.
An evidence technician with the Prince George's County police dusts for fingerprints at the BB&T branch in Bowie. An off-duty officer foiled the attempted robbery of man headed to the bank to make a deposit. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)
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By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

An off-duty police officer was shot in the leg and a suspect was shot in the hand in a struggle for the officer's gun after an attempted robbery outside a bank in Prince George's County on Monday, authorities said.

The officer and suspect are expected to survive, police said. The injured suspect and a second suspect, both males, are in custody. Police are searching for a third suspect who fled. They did not provide the suspects' names.

The incident occurred just after 10 a.m. outside the BB&T branch at Old Chapel and Laurel Bowie roads in Bowie.

It started when a suspect apparently tried to rob a man taking money to the bank from a nearby gas station, police said. The off-duty Prince George's County police officer spotted them struggling.

The suspect ran and jumped into a vehicle, said Lt. Tammy Sparkman, a police spokeswoman. The officer blocked that vehicle with his, and the suspect jumped out and ran.

At the same time, a Bowie State University police officer pulled up and apprehended the driver.

That was only just the beginning, though. The Prince George's officer caught up with the suspect, and soon both were grappling for the officer's gun, police said. The officer's gun discharged -- it is unclear how many times -- grazing his own leg and hitting the suspect in the hand.

The injured suspect then tried to jump into another vehicle, a green Mazda, that came onto the scene but could not hang on, Sparkman said. The Mazda left, and the man was taken into custody. That driver remains at large.


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