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Off-duty police officer accidentally shoots self responding to active crime scene

The officer is out of surgery and in stable condition, according to police.

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — A Prince George's County Police officer is recovering from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound sustained while trying to intervene in an active crime scene in Upper Marlboro, Md., her police chief says. 

PGPD Chief Aziz Malik said the officer was off-duty when a friend called around 12:40 p.m. to inform her a crime was in progress at a home in the 3100 block of Squire Road. The resident operates as a barber out of the home, police said in a release. While on the call with the barber, the officer overheard an ongoing confrontation involving the barber and another man at the home. Police said the officer believed a robbery was in progress. 

Aziz said the officer, who was nearby, followed the procedure and called 9-1-1 to request backup, before heading to the scene herself. When she arrived in her personal car, she parked and was reaching for her gun when she accidentally shot herself, Aziz said. 

"It appears she accidentally discharged her weapon while retrieving her firearm, striking herself once," Aziz said. "She is out of surgery and in stable condition."

The officer was assigned to the Burea of Patrol and has been with the department for one year, and on the street for a couple of months. She's recovering at the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center.

When asked if it was a procedure for an off-duty officer to respond to crime scenes, Aziz said she did what she is trained to do.

"She was in the area and she did what she was supposed to do," he said. "She called 9-1-1 to get additional officers to the scene, and that is what we train for, to take that kind of precautions when she believed some kind of offense was happening that could cause harm to an individual or herself. 

Aziz added that Prince George's County officers are required to carry their duty weapons at all times. 

"We don’t stop being police officers when we’re off duty," the chief said. "We don’t have that kind of luxury."

The 9400 Block of Castle Drive in Upper Marlboro was closed for several hours to incoming traffic as police investigated the circumstances of the crime the officer was responding to. 

Though Aziz said he could not confirm whether the crime was an attempted armed robbery, as reported to the officer, he said he is certain a crime was in progress. The police chief said he believes the neighborhood is safe, and his department is working to identify and arrest the suspect of the crime in progress. He said there was one witness with the officer at the time she was shot, and PGPD officers are interviewing that witness. No other injuries were reported from the scene. 

Neighbor Juanita White described the area where the crime occurred as an older community and said most families have lived there for decades. Neighbors also said it is a historic neighborhood and one of the first places in Prince George's County where Black residents were allowed to purchase property. 

Detectives interviewed all of the individuals involved in the incident, and there are no pending charges against anyone involved in the confrontation at the home. 

This incident remains an ongoing investigation, police said.

Police are asking anyone with information on this investigation, to call the Prince George’s County Police Department at 301-516-2512.  Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), or go online at www.pgcrimesolvers.com, or use the “P3 Tips” mobile app (search “P3 Tips” in the Apple Store or Google Play to download the app onto your mobile device.) Please refer to case 21-0052095.

Watch: Officer shot after a pursuit in Prince George's County, one suspect in custody, one still on the loose, police say. 

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