- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Two brothers who videotaped a third brother’s deadly ambush at a Prince George’s County police station will be charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault and conspiracy to commit murder for their roles in the attack, authorities said Tuesday.

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks announced the charges against Elijah Ford, 18, and Malik Ford, 21, at a press conference. The brothers are scheduled to face a bond hearing on Wednesday.

“We are very, very early in this investigation, and there is a lot to review. We will be very deliberate in this case. We will apply the law to the facts in this case,” Ms. Alsobrooks said.


SEE ALSO: Brothers’ plan to make video of police ambush ends in cop’s friendly-fire death, officials say


The prosecutor did not announce formal charges against Michael Ford, 22, who is accused of opening fire outside the District 3 police station in Palmer Park on Sunday afternoon. His brothers, Elijah and Malik, are accused of helping plan the attack, which they recorded on their cellphones. Police said the two brothers drove Michael to the scene and video-recorded his “last will and testament” just before he began his shooting rampage.

Officer Jacai Colson, 28, was killed by friendly fire in the gunbattle that erupted between the shooter and other officers, officials announced Monday.



Ms. Alsobrooks said the investigation into the shooting incident is ongoing, adding that some type of murder charges are expected for Michael Ford. She said a grand jury had not yet been convened to consider the case against the eldest Ford brother.


SEE ALSO: College friends recall fallen officer Jacai Colson as unlikely cop, ‘high-character guy’


Michael Ford, who was wounded in Sunday’s ambush, remained under guard at Prince George’s Hospital Center on Tuesday.

In addition, Elijah and Malik Ford could face more charges. The Prince George’s County District Court Commissioner on Monday reviewed what charges would be appropriate for the two accused accomplices, and found that there was no probable cause for second-degree murder or use of a handgun charges against them.

The commission only suggests which charges the state’s attorney should file, so Ms. Alsobrooks could add those charges and several others. She said she was reviewing the brothers’ case before taking charges to a grand jury.

When pressed about why the commission rejected the second-degree murder and handgun charges against the younger Ford brothers, Ms. Alsobrooks said the commission independently reviews charges for probable cause but is not required to explain how it comes up with its recommendations.

The county prosecutor said her office is looking into murder charges against Elijah and Malik Ford under the state’s felony murder law, which applies to anyone who participates in a crime in which someone is slain.

A court document provided to The Associated Press on Tuesday by prosecutors said that during the shooting, police officers asked Malik and Elijah Ford, who were sitting in a car, where the shooter was. The document said Malik Ford shouted he didn’t know, even though video shows he could see his brother hiding behind a police van.

During a press conference Monday, Prince George’s County Police Chief Henry Stawinski described how Michael Ford opened fire on not only officers but also two cars and an ambulance passing by the scene, as well as how the shooter stopped to reload his handgun. The chief offered no motive for the attack, saying that Michael “intended to die” in the encounter, and he expressed outrage and puzzlement over the actions of Elijah and Malik Ford.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” Chief Stawinski said.

Officer Colson, a four-year veteran on the police force, served as an undercover narcotics cop. He was wearing civilian clothes when he arrived at the gunfight, where he drew his weapon and distracted the shooter as fellow officers approached, Chief Stawinski said. Officer Colson was shot by one of six fellow officers, he said, adding that it was not known which fired the fatal round.

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting in the investigation, agency spokesmen said.

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