A Prince George’s County police officer shot and killed an Landover man Saturday night after police said the man pointed a handgun at the officer.
Rodney Deron Edwards, 35, was lying in the grass in the 7500 block of Greenleaf Road when an unnamed officer approached to check on his condition just before 10 p.m., said police spokesman Cpl. Henry Tippett.
Edwards then pointed a gun at the officer, who fired his service weapon an unspecified number of times, Tippett said. Police recovered a .38 caliber handgun at the scene.
Edwards was taken to Prince George’s Hospital Center where he died from his injuries.
It is unclear why Edwards — who lived nearby, on the 7700 block of Normandy Road — was laying roadside.
Tippett said the officer, a two-year department veteran, had just left a Toys for Tots event at police headquarters on Barlowe Road and had traveled less than a mile when he saw Edwards lying in grass.
He made a U-turn to investigate. “We’re not real sure why [Edwards] chose to point a handgun at the officer,” Tippett said. A phone number listed for Edwards’ address was not in service Sunday.
Per department policy, the officer has been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated, Tippett said.
Tippett said the incident is the 15th police-involved shooting in 2011. There have been at least three other incidents in the past six weeks.
James Henry Peoples, 43, was shot dead Wednesday after he brandished a gun at county officers in Capitol Heights. Keston David Lewis, 19, was fatally shot by a Takoma Park officer on Dec. 17 as he assaulted a fellow officer. And James Edward Coleman, 22, was shot Nov. 12 outside his District Heights home after a standoff; he was a suspect in two murders at the Arundel Mills mall.
Coleman died after a shootout with county police; one officer was struck in the hand, face and leg. He was one of three county officers who have been shot in the line of duty this year, Tippett said.