2 brothers in deadly police ambush held without bond
WASHINGTON - Malik and Elijah Ford have been ordered to be held without bond in the deadly ambush shooting that claimed the life of a Prince George's County Police officer.
Police say the attack was unprovoked and directly led to the friendly fire death of Prince George's County Officer Jacai Colson.
Elijah and Malik Ford are still facing attempted murder and conspiracy charges and remain behind bars.
Two officials who have seen the cell videos shot by Malik and Elijah Ford said there were excited cries of "That's my brother" and "That's my dog" as the shooting commenced outside the District Three station Sunday afternoon.
As Michael Ford fell wounded, the tone of the brothers' comments changed to what the officials described as sadness.
On Wednesday outside the courthouse, Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks told reporters the second-degree murder charges and firearms charges filed against the Ford brothers are justified.
"We will be aggressive here," she said. "Officer Colson was a wonderful officer from all accounts. He showed up. He was brave. He was courageous. He was a defender."
On Tuesday morning, Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski went back to the crime scene and talked with investigators about what happened. They looked closely at the bullet holes in the windshield of a police van as well as the damage done to the front of the police station.
He said the department is not yet prepared to say how Officer Colson was hit by the friendly fire.
"While this is occurring here and we are conducting a forensic investigation of the scene, interviews are ongoing, and what you see happening right now has to be compared to their statements, to witness statements, to video collected from our facility, the recreation center," Stawinski said. "So all of those things have to be aggregated in one place. Nothing out here stands alone."
According to court documents filed in the case, Michael Ford first fired two shots into the front doors of the District Three station hoping to draw fire from police in return. He then fired at two cars and an ambulance passing by.
Officer Colson arrived at the scene in a vehicle, jumping out, pulling out his weapon and firing at Ford.
Ford's brothers were sitting in a car with a view of the police station.
"We're just all devastated," said Chief Stawinski. "There is no way to parse that out amongst people. And again, our obligation now is to respond to the public, to allow them to understand this just as quickly as we are able to understand it, and then to help them grieve and cope."
Officer Colson was off-duty in plain clothes coming to visit a friend when he was shot.
Malik and Elijah Ford will be back in court at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday for a bond review. The charges against Michard Ford have not yet been filed. He is still in the hospital.
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Here's an updated timeline of events that led to Officer Colson's shooting, according to Prince George's County police detectives:Colson's shooting, according to Prince George's County police detectives:
- Prince George's County police say they have cell phone video that captured the gunman dictating his last will and testament, and that the video was recorded just minutes before his two brothers drove him to the District III station.
- Once at the station, police say Michael Ford opened fire on the police station, shooting at responding officers, at the building, as well as at a passing ambulance and two other vehicles. Police released photos of those vehicles on Monday afternoon.
- Officer Colson, who was on his day off, was on his way to the police station to meet another officer. He arrived right after Michael Ford began shooting.
- Colson left his unmarked cruiser and began exchanging gunfire with the shooter.
- A total of four officers discharged their weapons while trying to stop Michael Ford. Two other officers who responded did not fire their weapons.
- It is believed, based on an autopsy Monday, that Officer Colson was inadvertently shot by a fellow responding officer during the gun battle.
- Malik and Elijah Ford fled the scene. The driver, Malik, turned himself in to police at a nearby fast food restaurant shortly after the shooting spree. Elijah was taken into custody at his home in Landover shortly after his brother.
- Officer Colson died as a result of injuries he sustained. He was rushed to the hospital by fellow officers after he was hit by gunfire, but he did not survive.
- All three suspects face multiple charges including murder and felony charges.
The other officers who returned fire in the incident along with Colson are:Colson are:
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 will be shared with the community once they are finalized. He is survived by his parents, James and Sheila Colson-- who bravely stood alongside police for Monday afternoon. He also had a younger brother, Jurea. Officer Colson grew up in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania.
- After an emotional scene outside Prince George's Hospital Center on Sunday night, officers were continuing to gather outside the District III station on Monday.
- The death of Officer Colson came just two weeks after Prince William County rookie officer Ashley Guindon was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence callGuindon was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call. Two of her colleagues were also injured in the shooting and continue to recover.callGuindon was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call. Two of her colleagues were also injured in the shooting and continue to recover.
Colson was a four-year veteran of the department and was assigned to the Narcotics Enforcement Division. He was working undercover when the shooting happened. He would have celebrated his 29th birthday this week.