A Prince George’s County police officer fired a shot while pursuing three people suspected of trying to steal power tools from a Home Depot in College Park, Maryland, as they fled. Police are still searching for two of the suspects.
Chief Henry Stawinski told reporters he doesn’t believe anyone was shot. The encounter was captured on surveillance video, which police have. A witness to the incident also recorded cellphone footage.
An officer was inside the Home Depot on Cherry Hill Road when she was approached by the store’s management about a robbery they believed was in progress, Stawinski said.
“Upon seeing the manager and the police officer talking, one of those individuals — and this person is known to Home Depot and ourselves as a shoplifter — fled out of the store,” he said.
A second suspect then rounded the corner with a cart full of items and a crowbar in hand, police said. That suspect also fled after seeing the officer.
The officer began chasing the second suspect on foot. The second suspect got into an SUV, driven by a third suspect, with the first.
The officer approached the car with her weapon drawn. The car began moving and “made contact” with the officer and a single shot was fired, according to Stawinski.
“That shot does not strike the vehicle and does not strike any persons in that vehicle, to the best of my knowledge right now,” Stawinski said.
The car was later stopped on University Boulevard in Adelphi, but only the driver was inside. Police are still searching for the other two suspects whose identities they know but have not released yet.
Police have had issues with the area that the Home Depot is in and have a separate robbery suppression team operating there.
“We’ve made a real focus on theft and property crime in Prince George’s County this year. … That’s why we’re here; that’s why we had a separate robbery suppression team in the area,” Stawinski said.
The officer was shaken after the encounter but is OK, according to Stawinski.
Below is a map of where the incident happened.
WTOP’s John Domen contributed to this report from College Park, Maryland.
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