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Maryland Undercover Officer Killed by "Friendly Fire" was Mistaken for Attacker

March 17, 2016  | 

Officer Jacai Colson was in street clothes when he responded to the station attack. He was reportedly killed by a fellow officer who mistook him for one of the attackers. (Photo: Prince George's County PD)
Officer Jacai Colson was in street clothes when he responded to the station attack. He was reportedly killed by a fellow officer who mistook him for one of the attackers. (Photo: Prince George's County PD)

An undercover narcotics officer for Prince George’s County, MD, who came upon a gun battle Sunday outside a station was shot by a fellow officer who mistook him for an assailant, according to the department’s chief.

The officer who fired the fatal shot did so deliberately but without malice, Police Chief Henry P. Stawinski III said Wednesday at a news conference announcing the latest findings in the case.

“I believe that another police officer fired at an armed individual who they perceived to be a threat to them,” Stawinski said.

Stawinski did not name the officer who shot officer Jacai Colson, 28, adding that investigators had not yet interviewed him. Colson — who was in street clothes at the time — was one of four officers who fired their weapons as they tried to stop the shooting, the Washington Post reports.

Colson had just arrived at the police station in Landover, Md., when Michael DeAndre Ford, 22, launched a planned and “unprovoked” attack on the building and officers, police said. Ford enlisted his younger brothers — Malik Ford, 21, and Elijah Ford, 18 — to drive him to the scene and callously record the shootout and ambush on their cellphones, police said. Michael Ford shot randomly at cars and an ambulance in addition to targeting officers, police said. While weapons were being discharged, Colson was fatally wounded by friendly fire.


Comments (1)

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kevCopAz @ 3/18/2016 2:44 PM

Wow, sad that this brave officer was killed, let alone by a brother officer. Wonder if the officer tried to (if time) to ID himself. I havem been in similar investigations where the officer made sure he was ID before intervening or if they could not be sure, they did not engage. One has to think outside the box at times, put yourself in the other officers shoes, how could they know unless the U/C officer ID himself or they recognized him? In our department, many times real undercover cops(not just plain clothes) NEVER went to police stations, never engaged in police action etc, for fear that something like this would happen. Sad sad situation. God rest his soul and God be with the poor officer(s) who shot him for they will suffer many years after this Im sure.

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