What happened the week before a Prince George’s Co. police officer was shot to death

The shooting led to a massive police response in two locations. There were between 30 and 50 officers on Chadds Ford Road in Brandywine, Maryland, where the officer lost his life, WTOP's Megan Cloherty reported at the scene. There was also a major police presence on MD-210. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

WASHINGTON — The week before he gunned down an off-duty Prince George’s County police officer, recently unsealed court documents detail a complex and evolving situation between Glenn Tyndell and his estranged wife, and police have also released their own statement clarifying the timeline.

Photo of Cpl. Mujahid Ramzziddin, who was shot and killed while he was off-duty on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Courtesy Prince George’s County Police Department)

According to court documents, Tyndell’s wife wrote that in the early hours of Feb. 15 — about six days before then-Cpl. Mujahid Ramzziddin was shot and killed — a half-dozen police cars pulled up to her Brandywine home after she said Tyndell had approached her with a long gun outside the home. WTOP will not name Tyndell’s wife, as she is a victim.

She wrote that police had surrounded her Chadsey Lane house for two hours, calling for Tyndell to come out. “He didn’t come out,” and police said they would “try again another time,” Tyndell’s wife wrote in a report dated Feb. 20.

On Feb. 21, Tyndell returned to the Chadsey Lane and fatally shot Ramzziddin, who had been asked by Tyndell’s wife to watch over the house so she could retrieve items from inside.

The details of the wife’s Feb. 15 encounter with Prince George’s County police are disclosed in several pages of court documents, unsealed and released Thursday by the county courts.

Then, Thursday night, Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski spoke in a news conference to clarify what happened the night of Feb. 14, leading up to the police presence in the early hours of Feb. 15 that Tyndell’s wife had described in a written statement a few days later.

There was “no Valentine’s Day standoff,” Stawinski said with emphasis.

Court documents show that the week before Ramzziddin’s fatal shooting, Tyndell’s wife had sought a protective order — the second one filed in as many months — after she said her husband flew into a rage on Valentine’s Day, suspecting her of cheating. He then assaulted her, according to court documents.

Police: The night of Feb. 14

Stawinski said on Feb. 14, police received the first call from Tyndell’s wife around 8:45 p.m. Just after 9 p.m., officers met her at the neighborhood club house where she had taken shelter after a physical confrontation with her husband, as mentioned in the court documents. Stawinski said she had also told officers about an argument that happened earlier in the evening at a restaurant and that the physical confrontation that happened later inside their home was “described as grabbing, pushing and shoving.”

Stawinski said that Tyndell’s wife had told officers “she believed that Glenn Tyndell had a gun but had never seen it.”

“At this point, I want it to be clear to my community: Mrs. Tyndell did not have a protective order,” Stawinski said Thursday night.

But according to court documents, Tyndell’s wife believed she had, as she had written, “Even though I had the protective order and a key to the home.”

Stawinski then said that since the confrontation was recent, and because Glenn Tyndell was last seen inside the home and his wife had intended to return again that evening, officers used patrol rifles and shields, and entered the Brandywine home using the wife’s key.

Officers searched and cleared the house around 10:30 p.m., Stawinski said.

It was then, at the officers’ direction, that Tyndell’s wife went to the commissioner and applied for a warrant and protective order, Stawinski said.

Court documents: The early hours of Feb. 15

Court documents show she filed a police report that night. But she returned to her Brandywine home late that night with her two children, and her husband emerged from the house with a long gun and charged toward her 13-year-old son, who was standing on the porch, according to court documents.

With the gun in his hand, Tyndell ordered his wife inside. “You called police didn’t you, now I have nothing to lose. But I’m not going to lose my family,” he told her, according to her description of the incident detailed in the police report. “I told him, he’s not thinking clearly and to let us leave and get a hotel and I’ll come back tomorrow,” she wrote.

The children, including her 2-year-old son who was still in his car seat, were scared, she said. “Glenn started to pace back and forth talking to himself,” she wrote. But he relented and let her and the children go.

And, according to court documents, Tyndell’s wife wrote, “Glenn never pointed the gun @ [sic] my son” or herself. She said the gun was held in both hands and upright at all times. “He also never said he was going to kill us,” Tyndell’s wife wrote. “But Glenn also never put the gun down during this time.”

She said she drove two blocks to the neighborhood club house to call 911.

Police: The early hours of Feb. 15

According to Stawinski, Tyndell’s wife received a warrant for second-degree assault, a misdemeanor, just after midnight on Feb. 15. She also had received a temporary protective order, but it had not been served to her husband, Stawinski said.

Around 1:04 a.m., police received another call from Tyndell’s wife after she tried to return to her home but was barred by her husband, Stawinski said. At this point, she told officers who responded that Tyndell was armed, Stawinski added.

Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski speaks at a news conference Thursday, March 1, 2018. There was “no Valentine’s Day standoff,” he said with emphasis. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

In this encounter, Stawinski said, Glenn Tyndell was last seen outside of his home.

Several minutes later, officers responded to the scene. This time, they had established a perimeter and had officers posted to detect signs of motion inside the house.

“We made an announcement via our public address systems on our police cruisers, ordering anyone in that home to surrender and come out,” Stawinski said. “We saw nothing.”

Officers received no response from the home, but did look inside the garage to verify that Tyndell’s car was not inside. Police found no evidence that Tyndell was inside the home, Stawinski said.

Stawinski also said that police discovered that Tyndell had no regulated firearms registered to him. A decision was made to not enter the home a second time. “We had gone through great lengths and had no reason to believe he was in that home,” Stawinski said.

He added that, at the time, Mrs. Tyndell and her kids were with police, and she indicated that she would not return to the home a third time.

Police found Tyndell’s vehicle several blocks away some time later — but he was never found.
“There was no standoff. We could never verify he was there,” Stawinski said. “We had absolutely no reason to believe he was in the house.”

“Entering a home is an extraordinarily dangerous thing,” the police chief added, and that second time, officers found no reason to enter after “concerted efforts.”

Evading deputies, a history of domestic violence

At the time he fatally shot Ramzziddin, Glenn Tyndell had three open warrants on theft and assault charges. The sheriff’s department said Tyndell was on a high-profile list of suspects to be arrested, but eluded deputies for days. At one point, he promised to turn himself in but never showed up.

Investigators this week said Tyndell fired five shots at Ramzziddin, before taking the off-duty officer’s weapon and leading police on a brief chase. Tyndell died in a gunbattle with police on Maryland Route 210.

Court documents reveal Tyndell had a long history of domestic violence. In the month before he shot Ramzziddin, documents show Tyndell’s relationship with his wife grew more volatile.

Before the violent Valentine’s Day encounter, Tyndell’s wife sought a protective order Jan. 20, alleging Tyndell sexually assaulted her and tried to slam her to the ground. Later, she said he stole a briefcase containing her passport and other personal documents, and told her that he said he would return her items if she dropped the protective order.

Ramzziddin, a 14-year veteran of the police force, was posthumously promoted this week from corporal to sergeant.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty, Jack Moore and Teta Alim contributed to this story.

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