On Sunday afternoon, a police officer was shot and fatally wounded in what is said to be an unprovoked attack outside Prince George’s Co. police headquarters in the Palmer Park area, a suburb of the capital of Maryland. Police have identified and have two suspects in custody in relation to the violent crime against one of their own.
The police have identified the officer who was shot as 28-year-old Jacai Colson, who had been with the Prince George’s County Police Department for over four years as a part of the Narcotics team. Colson would have been celebrating his 29th birthday later this week. According to the police, a second person – a civilian – was also shot and suffered a non-fatal gunshot wound.
The police released news regarding the shooting of officer Jacai Colson by social media and it was in a tweet that it was learned that the shooting of the officer had been an “unprovoked attack.” The department wrote on Twitter that Colson had “lost his life in defense of this community today. This was an unprovoked attack.” The authorities did not immediately elaborate on the information given in that tweet. However, Prince George’s County Police Chief, Hank Stawinski, spoke at a news conference on Sunday night and responded to questions regarding the motive of the shooting and his sadness regarding the death of his colleague.
“It is my sad duty to come to the community this evening and to tell you that one of your defenders, Jacai Colson…lost his life in defense of this county today.”
Stawinski also mentioned that the attack against the District III police station occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Immediately following the shooting, the police warned residents near the station to stay inside, and others to avoid the area entirely as there was an “active shooter” situation in progress. The New York Times reported that the public was later made aware that the “shelter in place” advice was lifted through the social media platform of Twitter after the second suspect had been apprehended by the police.
Both the police officer and the civilian who were shot were taken to the same hospital, Prince George’s Hospital Center, to receive treatment. Alan Doubleday, assistant chief of the Prince George’s County Fire and Emergency Services Department reported that the civilian was in stable condition. According to WUSA 9 the civilian who was shot is actually one of the two suspects in the shooting of the officer, he was reportedly injured following a shoot-out with other police officers. Police are interrogating the second suspect and have said that they do not believe that there are any more suspects.
Confirmed. From Pgpd: Officer shot, possible active shooter(s) outside District III station Stay inside. Avoid area pic.twitter.com/lXX0R7bJCr— Darcy Spencer (@darcyspencer) March 13, 2016
Numerous police cars were originally seen parked alongside the road to the hospital, and several officers could be seen crowded into the lobby of the hospital awaiting details of the officer’s condition. Unfortunately, the wounded officer was later pronounced dead, but the other victim is in stable condition and is expected to survive.
As the police investigated the situation, several roads were closed in the area but have since been reopened following the capture of the two suspects involved in the shooting of Maryland officer Jacai Colson. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered the flags to fly at half-staff in honor of Colson and also released a statement of support.
“I am shocked and saddened by the news this evening of the death of Prince George’s County police officer Jacai Colson in the line of duty. Our administration is committed to assisting Prince George’s County officials during this time, and the Maryland State Police are working closely with local law enforcement to provide support as needed.”
[Photo Courtesy of Larry W. Smith/Getty Images]