By MARIA D. JAMES — This is a developing story.
Update on September 27
At 2:29 PM, the City of Hyattsville Police Department issued an official statement regarding the shooting on September 26. The statement includes the names of the officers involved: Corporal (Cpl.) Jerry McCauley, Acting Corporal (A/Cpl.) Chris Evans, Private First Class (Pfc.) Michael McQuade, Private First Class (Pfc.) Scott Hall, Private First Class (Pfc.) Mitchell Lowery, and Detective and Private First Class (Det./Pfc.) Katelyn Koslosky. According to the statement, per standard operating procedure, all of the officers are on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
An officer-involved shooting is being investigated by the City of Hyattsville and the Prince George’s County Police Department. On Thursday, Sept. 26, a suspect identified as 49-year-old Leonard Shand, was reportedly armed with two knives when he was shot and killed by police officers. Shand’s last known address was in New Carrollton.
Police described the incident during a press conference organized by the Prince George’s County Police Department (PGCPD) Media Relations Division, around 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 26. According to police, the City of Hyattsville Police Department (HCPD) received a call at 7:14 a.m. from a coffee shop near Toledo and Belcrest Roads. The caller indicated that a man who had struck an employee in the head with a metal pole three days earlier was back at the shop, armed with two knives.
Officers from the City of Hyattsville, City of Mount Rainier and Prince George’s County went to the scene, along with a K-9 unit. Officials said 10 officers tried to disarm the suspect, using non-lethal methods, over the course of 30 minutes.
Hyattsville Police Chief Amal Awad stated that three officers deployed a Taser, which was unsuccessful. While trying to contain the suspect, another officer used pepper spray, which was also unsuccessful. A supervisor then arrived at the scene armed with a non-lethal shotgun filled with bean bags. Awad stated the suspect was heard saying he “embraced death,” then looked at the supervisor and said, “I’m going to get you.”
An officer used a flash bang in an attempt to disorient the suspect, and the supervisor then fired a nonlethal shotgun. At that point, Awad said, the suspect charged at the officer with both knives. Several officers then fatally shot the suspect.
“We have a total of six City of Hyattsville police officers who did deploy their firearms,” Awad said. “Prince George’s County responded to the scene to assist our officers, as well, throughout the deescalation; three of their officers also discharged their firearms. And the City of Mount Rainier Police Department responded to assist, again with deescalation, and one officer also discharged his firearm.”
“In the 28 minutes between the first engagement and when shots were fired, officers used all nonlethal methods available to them,” said Jennifer Donelan, director of the PGCPD Media Relations Division.
At 11:30 a.m., police issued an update on Twitter stating, “Out of an abundance of caution, Ridgecrest Elementary School in Chillum has been placed on lockdown due to an active search for a suspect in the area. At this time, no students or staff are affected as a result of the police activity.” Police recovered two knives at the scene.
PGCPD reports that the incident is under further investigation.
The incident has not gone unnoticed by local media and by organizations, including the American American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland. The ACLU has issued a statement about the incident. As of press time, police had not responded to the statement.