Slain Maryland Cop Inadvertently Shot by Fellow Officer During Gun Battle With Suspect, Police Say

PHOTO: Prince Georges County, Maryland police officer Jacai Colson, 28, died in the line of duty March 13, 2016.PlayPrince George's County Police via AP
WATCH Maryland Officer's Tragic Death Was Friendly Fire

A Maryland police officer killed in the line of duty was inadvertently shot by a fellow responding officer after a gunman allegedly ambushed a police stationhouse in an "unprovoked" attack, cops said.

Officer Jacai Colson was 28 years old and would have celebrated his 29th birthday this week, Prince George’s County police said.

Police said the alleged gunman "intended to die at the hand of a police officer" and had dictated his last will and testament on a cellphone video just minutes before his brothers drove him to the stationhouse.

Police said the "violence was all captured on cell phone and surveillance video which is evidence in our case."

Colson, a four-year veteran assigned to the Prince George’s County Narcotic Division, was on his way to the police station to meet an officer and arrived at the station right after a gunman began shooting there Sunday, police said. He was not wearing body armor at the time, police said.

Colson, who was in plain clothes, left his unmarked cruiser and began exchanging gunfire with the shooter, police said. A total of six officers responded, and four officers, including Colson, opened fire, police said.

Colson's autopsy revealed he was inadvertently shot by another officer, police said.

The Prince George’s County Police released the names of the officers involved but Police Chief Hank Stawinski said today he was not naming the officer whose round hit Colson.

Three brothers from Prince George’s County are in custody in connection with the alleged ambush that led to the fatal shooting, police said.

The suspected shooter who allegedly sparked the fatal gun battle is 22-year-old Michael DeAndre Ford, police said. He is in the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Two of his brothers -- 21-year-old Malik Ford, 18-year-old Elijah Ford -- are in custody, and all the three men are expected to be charged with second degree murder, six counts of attempted first degree murder, nine counts of use of a handgun in the commission of a felony and additional charges.

Police said today that Michael Ford "opened fire at responding officers, at our building, at a passing ambulance" and two other vehicles.

Police said in the tweet that the "shooting was callously recorded by the Ford brothers."

“We have individuals videotaping it, as if it’s a game, as if it’s something we’re going to put on YouTube and glorify,” Stawinski said.

The police chief said it was Colson's "actions, heroically stepping out of that vehicle and engaging with the shooter, drawing him and his attention away, that allowed these other officers to move forward from a position of advantage and neutralize the threat."

Fraternal Order of Police President John Teletchea said Sunday night that Colson "was a real cops' cop."

"He didn't shy away from any calls," Teletchea said.

"Personally, he was a very close friend...and I will miss him dearly," he said. "But even more, this community has lost a man who has protected every one of them and it's a shame."