This story was updated at 2:15 p.m. on Feb. 27, 2013.
A Capitol Heights home invasion was thwarted when a responding Prince George’s County officer fired shots at the alleged suspects as they were leaving the townhouse Wednesday morning, police said.
Police have one person in custody while the others, possibly two, escaped, according to county police. Police said the person they have in custody was not injured, but they do not know whether those who escaped were shot. The identity of the suspect in custody has not been released and charges are forthcoming, police said.
The suspect arrested by police had gone back into the occupied home after the officer fired the shots, police said. The remaining suspects hopped over a wooden fence and ran into a nearby wooded area, according to police.
The incident began around 8 a.m. in the 6900 block of Opal Place in Capitol Heights when police received a 911 call for a residential burglary in progress, with two residents still inside the home.
When police arrived, officers noticed signs of forced entry into the home, and one officer went to the front while another went to the back to watch for suspects, police said.
As suspects exited from the rear of the home, an officer saw they were armed and fired shots at them, police said.
“Fearing for their life, the officer discharged their service weapon at the suspects. ... It appears that no one was struck and no officers were injured in the incident,” said Lt. Bill Alexander, a county police spokesman.
Police are now searching for the other suspects throughout the Capitol Heights area, Alexander said.
A large portion of the Heritage Knolls community of townhouses was sectioned off by yellow police tape, and the streets were lined with police cruisers Wednesday morning.
Police believe the home was targeted but did not say what led detectives to that conclusion, Alexander said.
“At least two were inside the home at the time, and they were both uninjured,” Alexander said, who noted that the home occupants are cooperating with the investigation.
The suspects have been classified as males, but their ages or descriptions were not immediately available.
During the investigation, detectives recovered two firearms — one outside the home and one inside — police said. Police have not identified the type of guns or who they belonged to during the incident.
The officer involved in the shooting has not been identified and has been placed on administrative leave while the department investigates the shooting, per department protocol.
Alexander said he did not know whether the suspects fired at the officer.
Some Heritage Knolls residents said they heard three shots fired and said hearing gunshots is not uncommon in the neighborhood.
Several neighbors, who declined to give their names out of fear for their safety, said they were victims of carjackings and armed robberies outside their homes about a year ago.
The neighbors said about a decade earlier, the community felt safer but there’s been a high turnover of new homeowners and renters.
In December, a 25-year-old was fatally shot while holding his 2-year-old son outside an apartment in the 6800 block of Seat Pleasant Drive, about a block away from Wednesday’s incident.