An 18-year-old Washington man was shot and killed by a Prince George's County police officer early yesterday after he allegedly broke into a county school and stabbed the officer's K-9 dog.
Michael Presley Sluby, of 2929 Mills Ave. NE, was shot twice in the chest by Officer Joseph Wing, 34, a 12-year veteran of the county force.
The incident occurred about 1 a.m. in a junior high school at 3001 Queens Chapel Rd. in Mount Rainier.
Wing and his dog, Rebel, went to the school in response to a silent alarm, and the dog came upon Sluby and a woman in a dark room near the school gymnasium, police officials said.
They said Sluby stabbed the 80-pound German shepherd in the chest twice and then came toward Wing, holding the knife.
Sluby was shot not because he stabbed the dog but because Wing was "responding to the threat of a man with a knife [advancing on him] in a dark room," police spokesman Bruce Gentile said.
The woman who was with Sluby left the building by a side door during the incident, police said.
They said Candace Jean Craig, 18, of 1743 Allison St. NE, was arrested by other officers on the scene and charged with breaking and entering.
Police said an open reel tape recorder that was identified as school property had been moved to a stairwell, and they asserted that the intruders had moved it.
People who knew both Sluby and Craig, who they said were close friends, expressed shock and surprise after hearing reports of the incident.
"I just can't see Michael doing anything like that," said one friend, Tom Reeping.
Sluby, whose father, Reeping said, is a retired police officer, was "intelligent . . . very friendly . . . kind of quiet . . . and didn't go around causing any kind of trouble to anybody," Reeping said.
In particular, he said, "Michael loved animals . . . . He would never hurt anything."
Another friend said she knew Sluby and Craig at All Saints High School in Northeast, formerly St. Anthony's High School. Sluby and Craig graduated in June, the friend said.
She described Craig as "very nice, quiet, smart," a member of the math and English clubs, and "just not the type to get in trouble at all."
Her familiarity with Sluby, who was interested in cartooning, made it difficult to believe that he would advance on a police officer who carried a gun, the woman said.
"He had that much sense, I'm sure," she said. "He's not that type."
Sluby was pronounced dead at Leland Memorial Hospital in Riverdale shortly before 4 a.m. After her arrest, Craig was released on personal recognizance.
Reeping said Sluby may have noticed that part of the school, Mount Rainier Junior High, was decorated as a haunted house for Halloween and he may have entered it out of curiosity. As long as he had known Sluby, Reeping said, "he never stole anything."
Wing has been placed on routine administrative leave until police complete an investigation of the shooting.
Sgt. Pete Parrish said the 3 1/2-year-old Rebel was the first county police dog to die in the line of duty since 1962 when police began using dogs to assist officers. The dog had been in service for two years.