Police investigate deaths of toddler, father in Fort Washington shoot-out -- Gazette.Net


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Prince George’s County police are still investigating what could have motivated Frederick Roy Miller, 38, of Landover to abruptly take his daughter from her home on Saturday, shoot her caretakers and later stab and shoot his 3-year-old in the head.

The child’s homicide, which took place Saturday, resulted in a police chase and then a shoot-out, in which police officers shot and killed Miller.

County police chief Mark Magaw said acquaintances of Miller gave testimony about custody battles over the toddler as well as head injuries Miller sustained in a recent car accident, but that police are still searching for a motive in the case.

“It’s heart-wrenching,” Magaw said. “I’d ask the community to keep these families in their thoughts and prayers. As a father, I don’t know how you deal with the emotional and physical pain of losing a 3-year-old.”

Around 1 p.m. on Aug. 16, police responded to the report of a shooting at 4208 Farmer Place in Fort Washington and found a man and woman who had been shot, but were still alive, said Maj. Jason Johnson, commander of the department’s internal affairs division.

The two residents were the grandfather and great-grandmother of Laila Miller, 3, of Fort Washington, he said. They were hospitalized in critical condition Monday.

Frederick Miller is believed to have carried his daughter to a car, at which point police began a six-minute pursuit that ended with gunfire, Johnson said. Frederick Miller was shot and Laila Miller was found in the passenger seat of the car with both knife and gunshot wounds, Johnson said.

“[Officers] provided aid the best they could,” Johnson said. “They also summoned the Prince George’s County Fire and EMS, who transported Laila to a hospital where, sadly, she succumbed to her injuries.”

Magaw said preliminary autopsy reports show Laila Miller was stabbed and shot by her father. Police discovered an open knife in the car with blood on it and investigations showed the bullet was fired from approximately 3 to 6 inches away from Laila Miller, Magaw said.

Magaw added that the bullet was not matched to any kind of gun the police have and was fired at too close a range.

The officers involved in the incident have been given administrative leave until the investigation is concluded, according to a police statement.

Magaw said the best way for community members to help prevent domestic violence is to contact police at the first sign of trouble.

“What this is about is asking our community for help,” Magaw said. “We’re only as good as our relationship with the community. That means getting calls and support and information from the community about the small things before they become large events.”

eeastman@gazette.net