The Washington Post

Prince George’s police officer fatally shoots man in Calverton after chase, struggle

A Prince George’s County police officer responding to a report of a screaming woman fatally shot a man early Wednesday after a foot chase and struggle in the dark near a Calverton apartment complex.

The man did not respond to several commands from police and was reaching into a dark bag when the officer fired, police said. A weapon was not recovered from the scene, they said.

Police arrived at the complex about 2 a.m. after a woman called 911 and said she could hear another woman screaming “Get off of me!” according to Officer Harry Bond, a police spokesman.

After officers arrived at the apartment complex, in 3800 block of Twinlakes Drive, the woman who called 911 helped direct them to the area of the screams, said Lt. William Alexander, another police spokesman.

One officer scaled two fences and went through a drainage ditch before reaching the woman, Alexander said. The man ran, and the officer chased him about a quarter of a mile along the edge of a nearby wooded area, police said.

There was a struggle, and the officer — “fearing for his life” — shot the man, police said.

The man “refused to comply with a number of verbal commands from the officer,” Alexander said.

Police did not release the name of the man because his relatives had not been notified.

Alexander said that the man and woman who was screaming were acquaintances and that investigators were “still trying to piece together the nature of their relationship.”

The officer, a seven-year veteran of the department, was not injured and has been placed on administrative leave in accordance with standard departmental procedure. His name is not expected to be released until Thursday morning, said Julie Parker, a spokeswoman for the county police department.

The woman found outside the apartment was treated at the scene for unspecified injuries, Bond said.

Agnes Curtis, 67, lives at the Lighthouse at Twinlakes, the complex where detectives scoured for clues Wednesday morning. She was one of the residents who called 911 after noise from the parking lot awoke her about 1:30 a.m.

Although Curtis said she didn’t hear a woman screaming “Get off me,” she said she did hear “someone in distress” and “a lot of screaming.” A window of her fourth-floor apartment overlooks the crime scene and had been open.

Curtis said she called 911 about 15 minutes later after the screaming continued. Then she heard gunfire.

“Oh my God, I hear three shots,” Curtis recalled telling the 911 dispatcher.

Later that morning, she said, police officers descended on the parking lot, with many of them examining an area near fenced-off dumpsters.

Another resident of the area said the police crime scene extended from the parking lot of one apartment building across to a second apartment building next to a dog park. The man, who declined to give his name, said he also saw police gathered near the dumpsters Wednesday morning.

It’s unclear whether the woman who was screaming lived in the apartment complex, said Lee Seigel, regional property manager for Kettler Management.

“It’s a police matter,” Seigel said. “They haven’t given us any information as far as people involved. We are cooperating with them.”

Lynh Bui is a Prince George's County public safety reporter and former Montgomery County education reporter.
Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.



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