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Prince George’s officer injured, suspect shot during chase, police say

Police believe the two suspects are connected to a string of burglaries in recent months

3 min

A Prince George’s County Police officer shot a burglary suspect early Sunday in Upper Marlboro, Md., during a 15-minute pursuit that left another officer injured after he was flung from a van involved in the chase, the department’s chief, Malik Aziz, said at a news conference.

The suspect and the officer were released from the hospital Sunday morning with nonfatal injuries, Aziz said.

Two suspects will be charged with assault and burglary following a preliminary investigation, Aziz said, but they could face additional charges as police believe they are connected to a string of similar burglaries in recent months.

About 1:50 a.m. Sunday, according to Aziz, two officers were searching the 7600 block of Crain Highway for a van linked to a robbery that had taken place at 1 a.m. at a fast-food restaurant. The two officers saw the van backed up to the front door of a closed gas station.

When the officers pulled into the gas station’s parking lot, the two suspects ran out and entered the van, Aziz said. When the officers attempted to remove the van’s driver, the driver sped off “with the officer remaining halfway in the van,” he said.

The second officer then fired his weapon once and shot the driver of the van, who continued to flee instead of stopping, Aziz said. The driver crossed the four-lane Crain Highway onto South Osborne Road, at which point the officer hanging out of the van was flung from the vehicle.

After a 15-minute pursuit, the van’s driver and the second suspect were arrested at Branch Avenue and Old Silver Hill Road in Temple Hills, Aziz said.

The officer who shot the van’s driver was placed on administrative leave, Aziz said.

Police said the gas station’s ATM had been tampered with, and investigators found a crowbar at the scene.

Additional information about the suspects was not immediately available. Aziz said police were still working to confirm their connection to the robbery at the fast-food restaurant. He said the van involved in the chase is believed to have been stolen from a nearby church.

Pointing to evidence gathered by police in the past several months, Aziz said investigators are working to determine if the suspects may have also been involved in other recent burglaries.

“Their methodologies match more than a dozen burglaries,” Aziz said. “They’re doing the same things: Steal a car, use that car to break into a closed business, rummage through the businesses taking different items of value and pry open an ATM if possible.”

He added, “We’ve been looking for these individuals for quite some time.”

Police are not searching for additional suspects at this time, Aziz said. He said police would be talking to agencies across the region about similar burglaries “to make sure they are charged properly for each crime they committed.”