A man suspected of stealing items from a car was shot and killed by a police officer after he pulled out a gun during a confrontation with police, Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said.
Jose Alvarez of Woodbridge, Virginia, was killed. He was 23.
Police say Alvarez refused officers' orders to put down a gun and fired twice. An officer fired after an attempt to use a Taser on Alvarez failed.
"I am describing a life-and-death struggle between our officers and this suspect," Stawinski said.
Someone called 911 Monday morning after seeing a man stealing items from his car in the 3300 block of Huntley Square Drive in Temple Hills, Maryland.
A responding officer saw a man matching the suspect description and tried to talk to him, but the man ran across the street to an apartment building on Brinkley Road, Stawinski said at a news conference Monday morning.
As he was running, the man grabbed at his waistband and threw two license plate tags into the grass, according to Stawinski.
Stawinski said the officer called for help, and once more officers arrived, they found the man hiding behind a washing machine in the building's laundry room.
The man did not comply with the officers' verbal commands and a struggle ensued. One of the officers tried to use a Taser on the man, but it didn't take effect.
The man then pulled out a handgun, and one of the officers grabbed the weapon and shoved it away to prevent him from pointing the gun at the other officers.
The suspect fired the weapon while it was in the officer's hand, causing an injury, Stawinski said.
"That officer, in grabbing that weapon, likely saves the life of one of my officers, and he's to be commended for that action," he said.
At the same time, the officer who tried to use a T on the suspect fired his weapon, killing Alvarez.
The suspect's gun was recoverd in the laundry room.
The officer who fired was placed on route administrative leave. The county state's attorney's office will review the shooting.
Anyone with information for police is asked to call 301-856-2660.