An off-duty D.C. policeman was shot to death yesterday outside a Bladensburg condominium in what Prince Goerge's County Police described as a domestic dispute involving the officer, another man and their wives.
After an exchange of pistol shots between the two men, Bernard Wesley White, 33, a seven-year veteran of the metropolitan police force, lay dead, and Brentford Laverne Davis, 38, seriously wounded in the face and leg.
According to county police spokesman Sgt. Robert Law, an exchange shots occured at 10:30 a.m. on the sidewalk in front of 5207 Newton St., part of the Bladenswoods condominium apartment complex, after an argument and a scuffle between the two women. The Davises live at 5203 New St. in the apartment complex.
Law said White, who lived in the District, drove his car on to the parking lot where the Davises were washing their car and argued with Davis before driving off. Then, Law said White's wife arrived in another car and argued with Mrs. Davis. White then returned, and the two men tried to break up the argument between their wives, Law said. Then, he said, the men got in a fist.
"One man pullled his gun and fired," said Law. "The second man pulled his gun and fired. We don't know who fired first." Washington police officers normally are required to carry handguns while off duty.
Davis was listed in fair condition at Prince George's General Hospital.
Police said the shooting was still under investigation yesterday. D.C. Inspector C.V. Profater said it was not "job-related."
The shooting left the glass doors of an apartment building shattered and the neighbors unnerved. Several neighbors witnessed the incident and were being questioned by police.
Ins. Profater, who is in charge of the fifth D.C. police district where White was assigned, described White as "a very even-tempered individual and one of my most exceptional officers. He got along with everyone, did his job, caused us no disciplinary problems whatsoever."
An upstairs neighbor of the Davises described them as "very nice" people with two children.
Profater said yesterday's shooting of a fifth district officer was the second since he took command a year ago. Last October, Sgt. Michael Acri, 38, was killed on duty while answering a call to investigate a domestic dispute.