A man suspected of an armed carjacking died after a police pursuit of the reportedly stolen vehicle, authorities said.
A patrol officer spotted a vehicle that had been reported stolen at gunpoint Tuesday evening and began to pursue the car shortly after 1:15 a.m., about 10 miles away from where the robbery occurred in Suitland, Prince George’s County police said.
The officer, who had turned on the cruiser’s lights and sirens, chased the car for about 30 seconds, police said. During that time, the driver turned off the vehicle’s lights “in an attempt to evade the pursuing officer,” police said. The officer lost sight of the car, police said, and in seconds, the driver crashed into two utility poles along Silver Hill Road. The car burst into flames.
“Responding officers tried to save the suspect by extinguishing the flames and pulling the suspect from the car,” but he was later pronounced dead on the scene, authorities said in a statement.
Police identified the man as Derrick Foster, 48, of Bowie.
The vehicle was taken from a man and a woman who were held up at gunpoint near the 1000 block of Largo Center Drive shortly after 1 a.m., police said.
Investigators recovered a gun from the man, police said. Foster’s family could not be immediately reached.
The officer followed department protocols when engaging in the pursuit, said Cpl. Harry Bond, a spokesman for Prince George’s police. The department only allows pursuits in cases involving suspected homicides, shootings, robberies and carjackings.
“Whenever there is a pursuit, there is always a critique of the pursuit,” Bond said. “It was determined the officer followed all protocols.”