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Brothers Indicted in Shooting of Prince George’s County Officer

Three brothers were indicted on a total of 121 counts Tuesday in the attack on a Prince George's County police station in March that prosecutors say led to the death of an undercover officer.

Michael Ford, 22, was indicted on 55 counts, including second-degree murder, after prosecutors say he opened fire on officers on March 13. Officer Jacai Colson, who was dressed in plainclothes, tried to neutralize the shooter and was shot and killed by a fellow officer who did not recognize him.

"Officer Colson came there to help and was killed," Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. 

Ford's brothers, 18-year-old Elijah and 21-year-old Malik, also were indicted on multiple counts, including attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. They are accused of sitting in a car and recording the attack on cellphones.

All three men face multiple life sentences, Alsobrooks said.

Police Chief Hank Stawinski thanked members of the grand jury for handing down the indictments. 

This decision is another step in the process of ensuring justice is served on behalf of the Colson family, this police department and this community," he said in a statement.

Prince George's County Detective Joshua Malinowski testified in court last month that Michael Ford told his brothers he wanted to attack police.

Michael Ford told Malik to record the planned attack and send cellphone video to the entertainment website WorldStarHipHop.com, the suspected shooter's girlfriend and other contacts in his phone, Malinowski said. 

"They were hoping that there would be some sort of notoriety that would come out of this," Alsobrooks previously said.

Colson was fatally shot outside the District III police station after Michael Ford opened fire on the station and on passing drivers, police have said. During the chaotic shootout, Colson was shot by a fellow officer who did not recognize him and viewed him as an armed threat, police have said.

Colson died days before his 29th birthday. 

"What the Ford brothers precipitated was a tragedy involving some of the finest officers on the Prince George's County Police Department," Police Chief Hank Stawinski previously said.

Police Chief Hank Stawinski identified the officer who fired the fatal shot as Officer Taylor Krauss. He was a good officer and was once named officer of the month, Stawinski said.

Malik and Elijah Ford helped Michael Ford before and during the shootout and used their cellphones to record video of the gunfight, police have said.

Elijah Ford, 18, recorded Michael Ford's "last will and testament" just minutes before Malik Ford, 21, drove them to the Prince George's County Police Department's District III police station, according to authorities.

Michael Ford's lawyer, Keith Lotridge, has said the case is more complex than what police have presented.

"This is a tragedy and there is more to this case than what we've heard," he said last month.

Malik Ford's lawyer, Benjamin Evan, previously said he will argue his client was not involved in a plan to shoot anyone. Evan said he did not believe there was probable cause for his client to be held. 

"We don't believe that there was sufficient evidence for a judge to specifically find probable cause for the felony charges facing Malik Ford," he said last month.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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