Law Abiding Citizen Shoots Prince George’s County Police Officers – Lives Through It
It’s highly unusual that anyone shoots a police officer and lives through it, let alone shooting two officers. But that’s just what happened in Prince George’s County, Maryland when nine deputies burst through the door of a man’s apartment on Wednesday. Not only did he live through it, he will not be charged. Here’s why:
Blue Lives Matter reported that the Prince George’s County warrant team investigated the location of a drug dealer based on a tip from a confidential informant. Only it was the wrong location and they didn’t know it.
On September 19 at around 10:30 p.m., the warrant team burst through the door of a man and his daughter, who were sleeping and didn’t hear the “knock and announce.”
The man woke up to the noise and assumed they were the victims of a home invasion. He grabbed his shotgun and told his daughter to hide. He ran downstairs and torched off a shot as soon as they forced the door. The shot struck two officers, one in the hand and one in the shoulder. One officer shot back, but did not hit the homeowner – that officer is on administrative leave.
As the man noticed they were police officers, he dropped his weapon and asked them not to shoot his daughter.
“That individual acted to protect himself and to protect his daughter from what he believed to be the threat of home invasion. I am confident that he did not intentionally fire that weapon at police officers because they were police officers…This man was devastated when he realized that he had fired upon police officers. He was as worried about their safety once he realized that had happened as he was worried about the safety of his own daughter.” Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski
The Prince George’s County prosecutor agreed that the man should not be charged for shooting the officers, since he felt that he was protecting himself and his daughter from a threat.
“We believed that we were serving a search warrant at that [suspected dealer’s] address. The investigation had led us to the wrong address. It led us to the address of a responsible hard-working citizen….Our officers had worked to corroborate the information from that confidential informant. However, we did not draw the right conclusion.” Chief Stawinski
The Chief placed a moratorium on any further warrant services for 24-48 hours until every one of them had been thoroughly vetted in hopes of preventing another occurrence.
One officer was released from the hospital, the other had surgery on his shoulder.
These kinds of situations in many places have ended in tragedy. That both officers and citizen were able to stop it before it escalated is a giant plus.