UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — On day two of the murder trial for Michael Ford, an officer who helped take down a gunman outside a police station testified about the chaotic events of that day back in 2016.
Prince George’s County police Officer Bryan Melius testified Thursday that Ford first fired at the cruiser he was driving from only 5–10 feet away, outside the District III police station in Palmer Park.
After Melius saw Ford fire at a passing ambulance, “I knew the shooter was going to shoot at anything that moved down the street,” he said. Police have also said Ford fired at other officers and at the station itself.
Melius described Ford taunting and challenging officers as he fired at them. He says he went after Ford using a ballistic shield for cover, and that after one of the gunshots, Ford went down. Ford then said he wanted to die, according to Melius. Ford also said of Melius, “he’s the hero of the day” somewhat mockingly, and added “I was gonna [expletive] y’all up,” Meluis said.
In the confusion of the shootout, another officer shot and killed narcotics detective Jacai Colson, who was in plainclothes. Some in the gallery fought back tears as Melius testified that one of the first officers to approach Colson appeared to be very upset, as she realized a fellow officer had been shot.
Prosecutors have said Ford should be held responsible for murder. Ford’s lawyer has said Ford was trying to commit ”suicide by cop” and was only trying to harm himself. He’s also facing counts of attempted murder and assault as well as gun charges.
Ford was 22 years old at the time of the incident, in March 2016, and had a history of mental illness. His two brothers, Malik and Elijah, filmed the attack with their cellphones after driving him to the station. They’ve since pleaded guilty to charges related to the shootings.
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