LANDOVER, Md. (WUSA9) -- A Prince George's County police officer who died during an "unprovoked" shootout outside police headquarters was killed by friendly fire, according to circumstantial evidence.
It happened during a gun battle with three brothers and members of the police department on Sunday.
PREVIOUS: 3 brothers involved in officer's death
The three brothers have been identified as:
- Michael DeAndre Ford, 22, Landover (accused shooter, currently in hospital)
- Malik Ford, 21, of Fort Washington (arrested at nearby fast food restaurant, in custody)
- Elijah Ford, 18, of Landover (arrested at home, in custody)
Before opening fire outside the Prince George's County police headquarters, police say Michael Ford recorded a video dictating his last will and testament, and police believe he intended to die during the shootout. His brothers then drove him to police headquarters where they "callously recorded" the shooting, according to police.
Police say Michael Ford fired shots at responding officers, random cars and an ambulance. That's when Officer Jacai Colson, a narcotics detective, was arriving at headquarters in an unmarked vehicle. He found himself in the middle of the gunfight and heroically intervened, exchanging gunfire with Michael Ford.
Unfortunately, amid the chaos, Officer Colson was shot and killed by a Prince George's County police officer. Chief Hank Stawinski has not named that officer because the evidence is circumstantial at this point.
"Heroically, Detective Colson reacted to a set of circumstances I don't think he was prepared for," Chief Stawinski said. "He took action and heroism. His actions allowed officers to neutralize the threat. He drew fire to himself and doing so was mortally wounded."
A total of four officers fired their duty weapons while trying to stop the shooter. Two additional officers also responded, but did not fire their weapons, police said.
The officers involved in the gunfight were:
- PO Bryan Melius, Regional Investigation Division
- Cpl Jason Wells, Bureau of Patrol, District III
- POFC Taylor Krauss, Bureau of Patrol, District III
- Cpl John Wynkoop, Bureau of Patrol, District III
- PO Matthew Scott, Bureau of Patrol, District III
Funeral arrangements for Officer Colson’s line of duty death will be shared with the community when finalized. He is survived by his parents, James and Sheila Colson, and a younger brother, Jurea. He grew up in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania.
"Jacai could light up a room. He lit up everybody's lives he touched," said FOP President Zeke Teletchea. "We thank God that he was allowed in our lives, that he became part of our community, and we are ever so grateful that his family has shared him with us."
"I love this police department. I love this family. I love this county, it's my home. Jacai was senselessly taken from us," Chief Stawinski said.
Anyone who may have witnessed the shooting should contact police at (866-411-TIPS).