- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 1, 2014

Maryland police shot and killed a 20-year-old man Friday morning after they mistook the pellet gun he was holding for an assault rifle, a police spokeswoman said.

Two officers with the Prince George’s County Police Department officers responded to an altercation between two men at a Suitland apartment complex about 2 a.m. Friday, Reuters reported.

The officers opened fire after one of the men, identified as Mark Anthony Blocker, refused to drop the pellet gun he was holding, spokeswoman Julie Parker said.

“It’s 2:15 in the morning and there are these guns designed to look like, in this case, an automatic weapon or AR-15,” Miss Parker said. “Officers have that split second of time to process all that information.”

Both of the officers have been placed on administrative leave, pending further investigation.

The fatal shooting has reportedly drawn some criticism on Twitter and other social media.

Tyrone Moore, a resident of the apartment complex, told The Washington Post that police “should use better judgement sometimes instead of being quick on the draw.”