- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Prince George's County police are still searching for two men in connection with the shooting of an off-duty Seat Pleasant police officer who walked in on a robbery at a gas station in Oxon Hill Sunday night.
Police say Officer David Fowler remains in serious but stable condition at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore after surgery to remove a bullet from his abdomen.
They say the incident began when Officer Fowler, 32, pulled into the Pride of America service station on Livingston Road just before 8 p.m. Sunday. Officer Fowler saw two men robbing the station's convenience store at gunpoint and waited outside to confront them. The men saw the officer, who was wearing a badge around his neck, and opened fire from inside the store.
The owner of the store, Tommy Daras, said the shots only dented the store's bulletproof glass. No other customers were inside at the time of the robbery and a female employee was "shaken up" but unharmed.
The two men, described by police as black, in their late teens or early 20s, emerged from the store firing their weapons. Several bullets hit Officer Fowler's car. Officer Fowler was hit once, and the two men escaped on foot. Mr. Daras said about 20 shots were fired in all.
Police said Officer Fowler was conscious and talking before he was flown to the trauma center. Investigators yesterday were waiting for the chance to interview him.
Mr. Daras said he saw no traces of blood at the station and said the two men escaped with a couple hundred dollars.
Mr. Daras, who runs a self-described "mom-and-pop" service station, said this is only the second time in 25 years the store has been robbed. He said Officer Fowler was a frequent customer, that he grew up nearby and his parents still live down the road. Yesterday, he called the officer a hero.
"It would have been very easy for him to have turned his head and walk away," he said.
"Dave's the type of guy, as an officer, if he saw something, he'd want to respond right away," said Earl Ivey, executive assistant to Seat Pleasant Cief Ronald Forrest.
Mr. Ivey said Officer Fowler was recently married and has one daughter. Officer Fowler joined the nine-officer police force about two-and-a-half years ago after six years with the Forest Heights police department.

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