An undercover narcotics officer was mortally wounded by one of his colleagues as he responded to an attack on his police station by a gunman with a death wish, their police chief angrily explained on Monday.
The gunman, Michael Ford, dictated a “last will and testament” just minutes before his two brothers drove him to the station, where he began spraying bullets at passing cars and even an ambulance to draw officers outside, police said.
In the confusion, despite their restraint, one of the other officers’ bullets hit Colson, the chief said. Four other officers fired their weapons, and it is not yet known who fired the fatal bullet, said the chief, who praised their restraint as well as the “extreme heroism” of Colson, who “drew fire to himself and in doing so was mortally wounded.”
“This appears to be the act of the Ford brothers, for their own motives. We have reason to suspect that the Ford brothers did not expect (Michael Ford) to survive his encounter with police,” the chief said.
Colson, he said, “reacted to protect his fellow police officers and his community. And while doing so we had individuals videotaping, as if it’s a game, as if it’s something we’re going to put on YouTube and glorify.’
The attack at 4:30 p.m. Sunday disrupted a quiet, rainy afternoon in Landover, a suburb northeast of downtown Washington, D.C.
Colson, who would have turned 29 this week, was a four-year department veteran who worked as an undercover narcotics officer. His football coach at Randolph-Macon College, where Colson played for one year, said he was “a great young man who was well liked and well respected.”
Sheriff’s Deputy Dominick Chambers, a friend from the police academy, said they celebrated their four-year anniversary as officers on March 12, the day before Colson was killed.