10 Officers Shoot at, Kill Armed Suspect in Hyattsville

A man known to be violent was shot and killed by police in Hyattsville, Maryland, Thursday morning after he advanced toward an officer with two knives and officers' multiple attempts to disarm him failed, officials say.

The man died after he was shot at by 10 officers from three police departments near Belcrest and Toledo roads, close to The Mall at Prince George's, police said.

Police identified the man as 49-year-old Leonard Shand, whose last known address was in New Carrollton.

Over the course of 28 minutes, officers tried to neutralize Shand using Tasers, pepper spray, a flash-bang grenade and a gun that fired beanbags, the chiefs of the Prince George's County Police Department and Hyattsville Police Department said at a news conference.

"Our officers were trying to keep this individual away from traffic, away from pedestrians, away from people going about their morning routine," Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said.

Hyattsville police received a call at 7:14 a.m. Thursday about an armed man at a coffee shop, Hyattsville Police Chief Amal Awad said. Three days earlier, the man had used a metal pole to hit a coffee shop employee in the head, she said. Hyattsville officers responded four minutes later, at 7:18 a.m.

Officers from the Prince George's, Hyattsville and Mount Rainier police departments fired at the man after he "charged" at an officer, Awad said. Earlier, he was heard saying "that he embraces death and that 'I'm going to get you,'" according to Awad.

Prince George's County police are reviewing video footage from a passerby, officers' body cameras and squad car cameras.

Stawinski praised the officers for thinking tactically and creating distance between the man and passersby, including schoolchildren.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland disputed the police account of the encounter.

"A black man was killed in Hyattsville this morning," a statement said. "He was in a disoriented state when officers with the Prince George’s County, Mt. Rainier and Hyattsville police departments shot and killed him during a confrontation. Given the pattern of Maryland law enforcement officers gunning down black and brown people and their selective release of information, we are challenging the officers' narrative. Their language only continues to paint victims as threats while wiping their hands clean of any wrongdoing."

The ACLU said police made the situation more dangerous.

"Officers used a flashbang grenade, which inevitably led to the killing of this man, who has not yet been identified," the ACLU statement said. "Running away from an exploding flashbang grenade is a natural and inevitable response. The police created a dangerous situation, causing an armed man to run towards them, and then used the inevitable result of their actions as the justification to shoot him."

The 10 officers are on administrative leave.

Shand's criminal past dates back to the late 1980s, court records show. Charges range from assault with a deadly weapon to fleeing from police. The most recent charge was for an attempted armed robbery in June 2018. That charge was dropped. 

He was accused of leaving a New Carrollton police officer with critical injuries after stabbing the officer in a Starbucks in May 2018, but charges against him were dropped, sources told News4. 

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