Takoma Park police ID 2 shot, killed by off-duty Pentagon police officer

The Takoma Park, Maryland, police have released the names of the two men who were shot and killed by an off-duty Pentagon Force Protection Agency officer in the predawn hours of Wednesday.

Dominique Williams, 32, of Hyattsville, Maryland, and James Lionel Johnson, 38, of District Heights, Maryland, died at Prince George’s Hospital on Wednesday, the police said in a statement Thursday.

At about 5 a.m. Wednesday, the Takoma Park police responded to a report of gunshots in the parking lot of the Takoma Overlook Condominiums, on New Hampshire Avenue. When they got there, the police said in a statement, the off-duty Pentagon officer told them he had seen what he thought was a car being broken into and “engaged the suspects.”

The people tried to drive away, and the off-duty officer fired at them. Shortly afterward, Williams and Johnson arrived at the hospital with gunshot wounds and died from their injuries, the police said.

The Takoma Park police still have not released many details, including whether there were any other people in the parking lot, or whether the two were driving away or walking to a car.

“We continue to work closely with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office to review and investigate this case,” the police said in the latest statement.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich called the shooting “really, really troubling” during an online briefing Thursday.

“You can’t shoot people for property crimes,” Elrich said; “you can’t do that.” The county executive pointed out that as a Pentagon officer, “He had no authority in Montgomery County.”

And given that the only accusation against the two men is breaking into cars, “The idea that he drew his gun rather than pick up his cellphone and call the police is very troubling.”

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2012 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He went to George Washington University as an undergraduate and is regularly surprised at the changes to the city since that faraway time.

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