Off-duty Deputy In Maryland Gun Fight

Officer confronted burglars in neighborhood cul-de-sac

Gunshots shattered the quiet Sunday morning air of an Oxon Hill, Md. cul-de-sac. An Alexandria sheriff’s deputy was on his way to church when a neighbor told him that burglars were coming out of window.

"They saw the officer, he saw them, pulled out their weapon...fired, he fired he tried to find cover, they ran off,” said Cpl. Clinton Copeland, Prince George’s Co. Police Dept.

Investigators are not sure if the off-duty deputy hit any of the suspected burglars.

"We've been checking local hospitals,” said Copeland. “Only description we have is 2 or 3 suspects; still trying to determine.”

The Alexandria deputy has been placed on administrative leave. His department is supporting his role in the gun battle.

"I think his actions were courageous: looking out for his neighbors property and his own life,” said Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne.

People who live along the cul-de-sac hope this incident will mean more patrols from Prince George’s County police officers. The dead end street at the woods is often a scene of trouble, according to one resident.

"We call the county about it all the time,” said John Pearson.

The name of the Alexandria sheriff’s deputy involved in the gunfight has not been released. He was not hurt.

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