A Prince George's County police officer has been killed and a fellow officer injured after their patrol car crashed Monday along a stretch of Interstate 95.
The accident happened shortly before 1 p.m. along southbound Interstate 95 near Powder Mill Road.
Police say at 11:50 a.m., officers were dispatched to a Shell gas station in the 6600 block of Sandy Spring Road in Laurel for a report of an attempted theft from an automobile. Two suspects in a gray Acura with a temporary license plate unsuccessfully tried to open the car doors of a customer's car, but then took off. Prince George's County Police have released surveillance images of one of the suspects at the Shell gas station.
While responding police officers were at the scene interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence, a gas station employee noticed the suspect vehicle return to the gas station. The two officers were alerted and pursued the suspect vehicle. The officers caught up with the suspects on southbound I-95. The police car then left the roadway and crashed into a ditch.
23-year-old Officer Adrian Morris, who was the driver of the police cruiser, was ejected from the vehicle in the crash. He was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later. His partner, who has been with the department for a year and was the passenger in the cruiser, has been released from the hospital after being treating for his injuries.
Witnesses say it seemed clear that the person driving the Acura intentionally forced the vehicle off the road.
Police say they are looking at the possibility that the suspects involved could be connected to another theft incident in Montgomery County.
Officer Morris was a volunteer of the Explorer program that trains young people about law enforcement. He has been with the Prince George's County Police Department for 2 1/2 years. He was assigned to the 6th District.
Morris was born in Kingston, Jamaica, but was raised in Laurel, Md. He became a U.S. citizen in 2009. He graduated from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in 2007.
Prince George's officials are urging anyone with information to call Crime Solvers. A reward of $25,000 has been offered leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver who contributed to the death of Officer Morris. Tipsters will remain anonymous. Call 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or text "PGPD plus your message" to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to http://www.pgpolice.org/ and submit a tip online.
Statement from Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III
"Today is a very sad day for the Prince George's County government and our public safety community. Two County Police officers were involved in a serious car crash while in pursuit of another vehicle. Tragically, one of the officers lost his life. The other officer was seriously injured and is expected to survive. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families, friends and co-workers as they deal with the pain and heartbreak of this tragedy.
Each day, the men and women of our Police Department face life threatening circumstances so that our citizens can be safe. Like so many other officers, these men did not think about the risks in this particular situation because they were just doing their jobs. Today's accident is a somber reminder of the dangers our officers face as they patrol our streets and neighborhoods each day.
On behalf of the nearly 863,000 residents, I commend these officers for their courage and commitment to the people of Prince George's County. We are blessed to have such dedicated men and women of valor serving our communities."
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