- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 20, 2003

A gunman fired at a police officer’s Northeast home yesterday, the second attack on a police officer’s family living in the 5th Police District in less than a month.

The shooting occurred in the 1200 block of Orren Street NE, where an Amtrak police officer lives with his wife, a dispatcher with the Metropolitan Police Department. The officer, who has not been identified, was walking out of his front door about 3 p.m. when several shots were fired from across the street.

No one was injured. Investigators recovered about a dozen spent bullet casings, most of which were found in the grass on the block next to the officer’s house.

Shots hit the officer’s canine-patrol truck, which was parked in front of his home, as well as his wife’s Dodge Caravan, shattering the driver’s-side window. Another bullet struck the wood frame above the front door.

Police said last night they were investigating the possibility that the man might have been targeted because he is an officer.

Alfonso Harrod, the couple’s landlord, described the officer, his wife and their children as “very fine people” and said they were doing as well as could be expected last night.

“They know how close it could have been to having their lives destroyed,” said Mr. Harrod, pastor of Franklin P. Nash United Methodist Church. Mr. Harrod, who met with the family after the shooting, said the officer told him nothing that would lead him to believe the family had problems with anyone in the neighborhood.

“Seemingly the people around the community were very pleased that they were here,” Mr. Harrod said. “This kind of chaotic situation cannot continue in our community.”

Women partners of two other police officers have asked the D.C. Council’s Judiciary Committee to investigate the Metropolitan Police Department’s handling of threats against police families living in the city’s 5th District.

Sandy Nelson, girlfriend of a Metro Transit police officer, and Deborah Rosario, the wife of a D.C. police officer, filed the request after each reported being threatened by criminals in their neighborhoods.

Both women claim D.C. police officials have mishandled their cases by not assigning detectives quickly to their cases, or, without warning or explanation, canceling protective details assigned to watch their homes.

Yesterday’s shooting occurred about 2 miles from the home of Metro Transit Police Capt. William Malone and Miss Nelson.

Last month, a gunman fired six high-caliber rounds into Capt. Malone’s 1987 Chevrolet Blazer. Capt. Malone and Miss Nelson believe the April 23 shooting was part of a pattern of intimidation by local drug dealers who were angry that a police officer lives nearby. The couple live in the 3600 block of 20th Street.

The couple filed several citizen complaints against the 5th District police officials, accusing them of mishandling the investigation into the shooting and harassing Capt. Malone and Miss Nelson after they filed the complaints.

Police officials said the complaints are being investigated. A suspect has been identified in the shooting, but police have made no arrests. Miss Nelson said she has seen the suspect drive by her house since a warrant for his arrest was issued about two weeks ago.

Mrs. Rosario, the wife of 5th District Master Patrol Officer Fred Rosario, was shot at in December 2000 as she and her 3-year-old son stood outside their Northeast home, which is 2 miles from Capt. Malone’s home and just a few blocks from yesterday’s shooting.

Mrs. Rosario was shot at two days after she provided grand jury testimony in a homicide case. According to an investigative report obtained by The Washington Times, police officials downgraded the shooting to an “incident” three days after it occurred and closed the case.

Last night at a candlelight vigil outside Capt. Malone and Miss Nelson’s home, neighbors rallied against police mismanagement in the 5th District and in support of police families in their neighborhood.

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