Prince George's police shoot, kill man who threatened residents with gun

By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 7, 2011; 8:00 PM

Prince George's County police officers shot and killed a man who was threatening residents with a handgun in a Landover neighborhood near FedEx Field on Monday, police said.

The man, who police are working to identify, pointed the gun at a teenage boy, and at least three residents called to report that he was acting strangely as he walked up and down the 1800 block of Ray Leonard Road, authorities said. Officers arrived in less than a minute, found the man and told him to drop his weapon, authorities said. When the man "brandished" the gun toward them, four officers opened fire, said Capt. Misty Mints, a Prince George's police spokeswoman.

Mints said the man created an "extremely dangerous" situation, and residents were "very lucky we got here when we did."

"You have an individual that's obviously threatening people, that has a handgun out and is threatening the residents on the street," she said.

It is unclear how many shots were fired or how many times the man was struck, but he was taken to a hospital in critical condition, Mints said. Police said later that he had died. None of the officers was hurt, and it remains unclear whether the man had fired in their direction, Mints said.

Mints said investigators are exploring whether drug use played a role in the man's behavior. She said none of the residents of the street seemed to know the man - including the boy whom he pointed the gun at. She said initial reports indicate that the boy had asked the man to leave the area.

One resident said he heard what sounded like five gunshots in rapid succession. Another, who did not hear or see anything, said it was troubling to know that an armed man was walking around in broad daylight.

"My child walks down this way every day. That's scary for him to have to walk down here," said 66-year-old Dorothy McDowell.

The shooting is the second involving Prince George's police officers in four days. On Friday, a police officer shot and wounded a suspect who backed toward him in a stolen car. The suspect in that case, Terrance L. Nelson Jr., 19, of Southeast Washington, suffered wounds that were not life-threatening and has been released from the hospital and charged with assault and related counts.

Staff researcher Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

© 2011 The Washington Post Company