Driver in custody after exchanging gunfire with officer in Lanham

Prince George’s County, Maryland, police have arrested a driver they say exchanged gunfire with an officer before fleeing Monday morning.

Police Chief Malik Aziz said his department received a 911 call around 8:40 a.m. Monday about a suspicious vehicle on Lanham’s Hickory Hill Avenue.

“The caller advised that the car’s horn had been sounding for approximately two hours,” Aziz said at a news conference later on Monday. “Two responding officers approached the car to talk to the driver, and during the interaction, they observed the driver had a gun.”

According to a law enforcement account, the driver grabbed for the gun while speaking with the officers. An officer tried to stop them, but at least one round was fired from the suspect’s gun before police gained control of it. Neither of the officers were injured.

One of the officers also fired a duty weapon during the struggle, Aziz added, but it is unclear if the suspect was hit before driving off and police losing sight of the vehicle. The driver’s gun was left at the scene.

The Prince George’s County Police Department tweeted just after 5 p.m. that the vehicle had been located and the driver taken into custody. Earlier, Aziz had said police were engaged in an “active search” for a four-door black sedan, and that the suspect was believed to have been using license plates belonging to another vehicle.

Detectives are also working to determine what the suspect was doing in the area.

“We are in the infancy stages of this investigation, and we know that there are several open questions about this incident,” Aziz said. “We have those same questions and intend to conduct a thorough investigation to get those answers.”

The officer who fired a weapon has been placed on administrative leave, per department policy, while an investigation is carried out.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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