Police Officer First Class (POFC) Jacai Colson, a four year veteran of the department, was killed Sunday afternoon during an ambush-style shooting near the county’s police headquarters in Hyattsville.
“We believe the fired round that led to Detective Colson’s death was fired by one of his fellow Prince George’s County police officers, reacting to this,” PGPDPolice Chief Henry Stawinski said Monday.
According to the police chief the shooting involved three brothers, identified as 22-year-old Michael Ford, 18-year-old Elijah Ford and 21-year-old Malik Ford. All three are in custody. Malik and Elijah Ford fled the scene after the ambush but Malik, the driver, turned himself in to police at a nearby fast food restaurant shortly after the shooting and Elijah was taken into custody at his Landover home, police said.
The shooting spree began when Michael began firing “unprovoked,” at officers, police detailed at a Monday afternoon briefing, while one of his brothers filmed the encounter.
Police believe the gunman did not expect to survive the encounter.
“Preliminarily, detectives with our Criminal Investigation Division believe the gunman intended to die at the hand of a police officer on Sunday,” police wrote in a release. “We have cell phone video which captured the gunman dictating his last will and testament. That video was recorded just minutes before his two brothers drove him to our District III station.”
According toChief Stawinski the Ford brothers not only fired at police, but also fired at two citizen vehicles and an ambulance. They also fired randomly, the chief told media Monday.
Michael was struck by gunfire and remains hospitalized.
All three brothers are charged with second degree murder, six counts of attempted first degree murder, nine counts of use of a handgun in the commission of a felony and additional charges.
According to the PGPD Chief, POFC Colson’s actions allowed other officers to take a position where they could intervene and neutralize the threat.
“Detective Colson drew fire to himself and in doing so was mortally wounded,” Stawinski said.
During the Monday afternoon briefing Stawinski stressed that — based on a review of the video evidence — the Prince George’s County police officers used “incredible restraint” during the encounter.
“They were cognizant of the fact that there were homes behind Michael as he was firing at them and because they couldn’t be clear in every instance who else might have been down range as this gunfire erupted,” Stawinski said.
Investigators have identified the officers involved as; Cpl Jason Wells, Bureau of Patrol, District III, Cpl John Wynkoop, Bureau of Patrol, District III, PO Bryan Melius, Regional Investigation Division, PO Matthew Scott, Bureau of Patrol, District III, POFC Taylor Krauss, Bureau of Patrol, District III and POFC Jacai Colson, Narcotic Enforcement Division.
Funeral arrangements for POFC Colson have not yet been finalized. He is survived by his parents, James and Sheila Colson, and a younger brother, Jurea. Colson would have celebrated his 29 birthday later this week.
Anyone who witnessed the shooting is asked to call 866-411-TIPS.