A 32-year-old Suitland man was shot and killed by Prince George's county police yesterday after a tense two-hour standoff in which he roamed his neighboring firing rifle shots.Heavily armed police who flooded into the area said some of the man's shots were fired at officers.
Blaine A. Hanifin, of 4652 Bennett Ave. was shot once about 6:15 p.m. near the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue extended and Shadyside Avenue, police said. No other injuries were reported.
According to police, Hanifin fired from 20 to 25 shots as he staggered and weaved through the neighborhood of detached frame houses. While some residents were evacuated and others crouched indoors or lay prone in their yards at police instruction, the man returned at times to his house for new guns and more ammunition.
After searching the house last night police found 12 rifles, four handguns and 28 boxes of ammunition. Neighbors knew little about Hanifin. One said he was a Census Bureau computer operator; others said he drove a tow truck and ran a towing service.
A report of a man who was placing the muzzle of a rifle in his mouth, then taking it out and firing brought police to the Pennsylvania Avenue intersection about 4:30 p.m. Finding Hanifin firing into the air, three officers radioed for help. Before reinforcements could arrive, police said, Hanifin began firing at the officers. He also fired at a state police helicopter, which then flew away.
Heavily armed police SWAT teams and other officers sealed off the neighborhood, took cover and tried to talk Hanifin into giving up while, according to police, at various times he fired at trees, shadows and a house occupied by one or more women. The extent of any damage was unknown.
The incident ended when Hanifin began moving toward three officers who had taken cover and fired from three to five shots at them from a carbine. Officer Donald W. Chamblee Jr., 32, a SWAT team member positioned elsewhere, shot Hanifin in the back with a rifle. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Prince George's General Hospital at 7:17 p.m. p
Police said Hanifin was drunk and depressed, but they did not say what caused the depression.
The shooting was the second by police in Prince George's in less than a day. On Wednesday night after a suspect in a restaurant robbery was shot in the leg and arrested in Beltsville by two Montgomery County officers who had followed him into Prince George's and exchanged shots with him.