An undercover Fairfax City police officer stationed inside a home that had been burglarized two nights in a row shot and critically injured an unarmed intruder early yesterday, police said.
Adam F. Dombroski, 19, of Bowie, was advancing toward Det. T.R. Lee and had something in his hand when the officer fired after warning him twice to stop, wounding him in the left abdomen, according to city police Lt. Jon J. Skinner. The object Dombroski was carrying turned out to be a flashlight.
Police Chief Lloyd Smith said Lee, who was put on routine administrative leave after the incident, acted properly. "Nothing I saw indicated that this was anything but a 'good' shooting," said Smith. "Everything he did was well within the law, this was during the commission of a felony. Everything he did was proper."
The shooting came only a day after the Supreme Court ruled that police officers may not shoot at unarmed, fleeing felony suspects who present no immediate danger.
Police and county prosecutor Robert F. Horan Jr. said yesterday's shooting was not covered by the Supreme Court decision, which applied specifically to nonthreatening felony suspects fleeing from police.
Dombroski, who lives in the 3000 block of Tyson Lane, Bowie, was reported in serious condition under guard at Fairfax Hospital yesterday after having undergone surgery. He was shot once with a .357 Smith & Wesson service revolver in the left abdomen.
Dombroski was charged with a single count of breaking and entering and, at an unusual bedside arraignment, a magistrate ordered him held under $30,000 bond.
It was the first time anyone had been shot by the city police in almost seven years, police said.
Skinner said Dombroski forced his way through a glass sliding door into a home in the Great Oaks area at about 2:15 a.m.
Lee, who was unavailable for comment yesterday, was inside the home, Skinner said, and twice ordered the man to freeze and identified himself as a police officer.
"The suspect did not stop, he continued moving toward the officer, making some gestures with his hand," Skinner said. "There was obviously something in the subject's hand . . . he gestured with his hand . . . and the officer is scared to death . . . . All those things collectively led to the shooting."
It was the third time the split-level home, in the 9900 block of Great Oaks Way, had been broken into in as many nights, Skinner said. Three residents of the home, asleep at the time of the incident, declined to talk about the incident yesterday, saying only they were "very happy" with police performance.
There had been six burglaries in the Great Oaks area since Monday, Skinner said.
Lee was one of four officers on stake-out early yesterday morning in the Great Oaks area of Fairfax City, a subdivision of $200,000 homes adjacent to Fairfax High School.