Police-involved shooting shocks Beltsville neighbors -- Gazette.Net


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This story was updated at 4 p.m. Oct. 2, 2013.

A police-involved shooting in a Beltsville apartment complex Wednesday was surprising, said many residents, who described the community as quiet and generally safe.

“I feel safe coming out early in the morning when it is dark outside,” said Verna Graziano, a resident of the Lighthouse at Twin Lakes Apartments, where Prince George’s County police say an officer fatally shot a male suspect after a chase.

County police spokesman Lt. William Alexander said police were called to the 3800 block of Twinlakes Drive at about 2 a.m. Wednesday and found an injured woman and a male suspect running from the scene. An officer chased the suspect, and at the 3900 block of Lighthouse Way, the officer fatally shot the suspect during an altercation, Alexander said.

The name of the suspect and the officer, a seven-year veteran, involved in the shooting had not been released by press time Wednesday. Information regarding whether the suspect was armed and details of the altercation also were not available. The injured woman was treated at the scene, according to police.

Alexander was unable to say by press time how many police-involved shootings there have been so far this year.

Although the department did not have crime statistics for the complex, Alexander said that so far this year the Beltsville area in general has seen an 8 percent decrease in robberies, a 19 percent decrease in assaults, a 4.5 percent decrease in property crime, and a 12.9 percent decrease in overall violent crime from the same period last year.

Carl Coleman, who lives in the apartment complex near the site where the shooting occurred, said he heard two gunshots at about 2 a.m. and saw police lights, but he thought it was just someone shooting into the air.

Coleman said he isn’t concerned about crime in the area.

“I didn’t think it was anything,” Coleman said. “This area doesn’t see a lot of crime. It’s very quiet.”

Terrell Twitty, who has lived in the complex about the year, agreed, saying he’s not worried about crime in the area.

Jonathan Morris, another resident of the complex, said he and his wife are planning on moving in part because they feel crime is rising in the area. Morris said he has noticed an increase in vandalism, and someone recently tried breaking into his car.

“We moved here because it was safe,” Morris said. “We want to move because it is not as safe as it used to be ... not sure what is happening.”

Lee Seigel, regional property manager of the Lighthouse at Twin Lakes Apartments, declined comment on the incident.

Police are still investigating the incident, and residents can provide anonymous tips by calling 866-411-8477 or they can directly call the Internal Affairs division at 301-856-2660.

ccook@gazette.net