Police: 2 taken to hospital for mental evaluation after man fires gun in Prince George’s Co. neighborhood

A man having what police described as a mental health episode fired a gun from his home several times in his suburban Prince George’s County, Maryland, neighborhood, striking a nearby residence and triggering a brief shelter-in-place, police said Tuesday.

The man was taken into custody and sent to a hospital for a mental evaluation — along with a woman inside the home who police said was also suffering some sort of distress.

Dispatchers initially got a call shortly before noon for a man with a gun in the 2800 block of Sudberry Lane in Bowie.

A few minutes later, arriving police heard numerous shots being fired from inside the address and worked to remove several people from inside, Bowie Police Chief Dwayne Preston told reporters at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Neighbors were asked to stay inside.

“And then suddenly, a man armed with a handgun ran out of the residence toward the officers,” Preston said.

Officers with the department’s STAR team — short for Special Tactics and Response — ordered the man to drop his gun and he complied. He was then taken into custody.

“Our officers showed great restraint and discipline by not using deadly force,” Preston said.

The man appeared to be hallucinating and was taken to the hospital for evaluation. A woman inside also appeared to be “suffering some sort of distress,” and was taken to the hospital for a psychological evaluation.

Asked to clarify the relationship between the two, Preston said it appeared they are “involved in a personal relationship.”

Police have not yet identified the man, and Preston said the state’s attorney office would review the case to determine if any charges are warranted.

A total of seven or eight people were inside the home at the time, including some children, the chief said. No one was hurt.

Police found bullet holes on a neighbor’s house where it had been struck. The neighbors were home at the time but not injured, he said.

The gun police recovered was a Polymer 80 9 mm “ghost gun.” Police also recovered two magazines, one of which was an extended magazine with a 30-round capacity, the police chief said.

Initially, the 911 calls to police referenced a possible home invasion, but Preston said that turned out not to be the case.

The chief said officers have previously responded to the same address for calls for service, “but nothing of this magnitude.”

He praised the officers who responded and cited their training for averting a more serious situation.

“I’m so proud of our officers,” he said. “Even dealing with some of the staffing shortages that we’ve been experiencing, they were able to respond immediately.”

Of the STAR team, which handles active and high-risk incidents, the chief said, “They’re trained for moments like this.”

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Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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