Maryland governor orders flags at half-staff for slain police officer

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 14, 2016 9:21 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Maryland Governor Larry Hogan ordered flags lowered to half-staff in honor of a Washington-area police officer killed in an attack authorities described as unprovoked.

Prince George's County Police Officer First Class Jacai Colson, 28, was shot in an exchange of fire with a gunman who began shooting outside police headquarters on Sunday. The suspected gunman was wounded in the attack and a second suspect was in custody, police said.

"The First Lady and I send our sincere prayers to the family and loved ones of Officer Colson, who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to his fellow citizens and community," Hogan said in a statement late on Sunday that ordered flags lowered to half-staff.

Colson was a four-year veteran and had been a narcotics detective in Prince George's County, which borders the District of Columbia.

Neither suspect has been identified, and police have called the attack unprovoked. Investigators are looking for a motive, police said.

The Washington Post described the second suspect as the gunman's brother.

Police Chief Henry Stawinski told reporters the gunman apparently opened fire on the first officer he saw outside the headquarters' district station in Landover. He continued shooting as Colson and other officers responded, the chief said.

The shooting was the second fatal attack on law enforcement officers in the area in little more than a month. Two Harford County sheriff's deputies were shot by a gunman at a restaurant near Baltimore on Feb. 10.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Andrea Ricci)