Off-duty D.C. police officer fatally shot in domestic dispute

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A D.C. police detective was gunned down by his 27-year-old stepson in “an execution” after asking him for help with yard work, according to Prince George’s County police, who were searching for the suspect Tuesday.

Officials were widening their search for Antwan Rayvon James, a former D.C. firefighter who they said was captured on surveillance camera fatally shooting his stepfather, Detective Joseph B. Newell, 46, outside their Upper Marlboro home.

“It was an execution,” Prince George’s County Assistant Police Chief Kevin Davis said of the killing.

Detective Newell, who investigated gun-related violence and assaults in the Metropolitan Police Department’s 6th District, was shot Monday evening after asking Mr. James for help with yard work.

“The shooter in this case, the stepson, James, didn’t like it and shot and killed his stepfather,” Chief Davis said. “It’s as simple and as tragic as that.”

The 23-year department veteran was shot in the back as he stood on a stepladder in front of his home, trying to screw in a light bulb above his garage. After he was shot, he toppled to the ground and his stepson stood over him and fired several more rounds, Chief Davis said.

Police called for a barricade around the home in the 6700 block of Green Moss Drive, believing Mr. James might still be inside. After searching the home early Tuesday, they concluded he was no longer there. County police officials said Tuesday that the department’s K-9 team and other specialized units were searching for Mr. James but gave no indication of where he might have fled. Mr. James is believed to be armed with a gun and dangerous, police said.

“If James is listening, the best thing that he can do is to turn himself in,” said D.C. police Assistant Chief Peter Newsham, who joined the county police at a news conference.

Chief Newsham described Detective Newell as an “excellent detective” and “a good friend” with whom he used to play basketball.

“He worked in one of our more-challenging districts and had some tougher assignments over there,” he said. “There’s a lot of people in the Metropolitan Police Department who were out there last night who were very upset.”

Police said Mr. James is a former D.C. firefighter who was fired from his job last year and had been living with his stepfather and other family members.

The D.C. Department of Human Resources confirmed that Mr. James worked as a firefighter assigned to Engine 26 from 2007 through August 2012 but said he was not fired, but resigned.

Mr. James was convicted of second-degree assault in Prince George’s County Circuit Court in March 2012 and received probation before judgment, online court records show. It was unclear whether that incident had anything to do with leaving his job with the D.C. fire department. Last month, a warrant was issued for his arrest after a violation of probation in the case.

Maryland court records list Mr. James as living in Northeast D.C. A phone number for the home was disconnected Tuesday and no one could be reached at the Upper Marlboro home.

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