One of the three D.C. teens charged with attempted murder in the shooting of a pursuing police cruiser Thursday morning was mistakenly released from jail later that day, authorities say.
In a statement, Angela Talley, director of the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, said the teen made his first court appearance Thursday and was ordered held without bond, but was released from the Montgomery County Detention Center at 3:48 p.m. that afternoon “after a processing error.”
The mistaken release came just about a half-hour before Police Chief Marcus Jones held a news conference to announce the charges against the three teens, and to congratulate officers on their work.
“I’m upset that a mistake could have led to the release of this individual,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a statement. “I will get a full report following the investigation of this incident in order to learn how it happened and prevent it from ever happening again. We are fortunate that the Sheriff’s Office in partnership with the U.S. Marshalls [sic] and Montgomery County Police Department were able to quickly re-apprehend this individual. They did a great job of keeping us safe.”
The statement doesn’t say how long it took jail officials to discover their mistake. But Talley said the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office issued an arrest warrant at 11:43 p.m.
The teen was then rearrested at a residence in D.C. at about 1 a.m. Friday. The teen is now being held in the District.
“As a result of this situation, the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation will conduct a full internal investigation into this matter,” Talley said in the statement.
All three teens are being charged as adults. In addition to attempted murder, they are charged with first-degree assault and first-degree burglary.
Police said the teens were in an SUV seen leaving an attempted burglary on Johnson Avenue in Bethesda early Thursday morning. When officers began following, police said the SUV stopped short and the officer swerved to avoid hitting the SUV.
Three shots were fired at the cruiser. The SUV then passed the cruiser and fired another shot before taking off. Police said at least one bullet was lodged in the passenger headrest.
No officers were hurt and none fired back, police said. At that point, according to police, officers initiated a pursuit.
The SUV crashed soon after, near the ramp on Wisconsin Avenue and the Capital Beltway. Two of the teens were arrested immediately. A third ran into a nearby woods but was found about an hour later, with assistance from a Prince George’s County police helicopter.
Montgomery County police said they have connected the three teens to other recent burglaries in the county.
The SUV they were driving was reported stolen from Arlington, Virginia.