LANDOVER, Md. (WJZ) — A suspect was shot and killed by a Prince George’s County police officer Thursday night.
The shooting happened in the 7800 block of Sheriff Rd. in Landover at approximately 9:15 p.m.
Police said a member of the community stepped forward and provided information about a man they knew to be armed, knew to be selling drugs, and knew to be terrorizing a particular part of the community.
“We were able to verify this individual, based on the description, based on where he was said to be, was in the area and we believe conducting illegal activity,” said Prince George’s County Police Chief Henry Stawinski.
Alisha Thomas, the sister of the man shot Thursday night said she has no confidence in the department’s investigation. She referred to comments Prince George’s police chief made that her brother was “terrorizing” the community.
“They have assassinated his character,” Thomas said.
An emergency service team in uniform approached the suspect an he began to flee the scene. Police say officers tackled the suspect roughly 25 yards away. They say during the struggle, officers saw the suspect reaching for a gun in his waistband.
Police said 40-year-old Gregory Campfield, Jr. was reaching to pull out a weapon when an officer shot him. The incident happened on Sheriff Road, not far from FedEx Field. Police said the incident started with a tip from the community about a man-possibly armed- selling drugs.
Prince George’s County Police Department stated their updated account of the incident:
“The officers gave verbal commands for the man to stop and show his hands. Instead, the suspect, Campfield, began to run away. Two officers chased after him on foot. One of the officers caught up Campfield and took him to the ground. The officer observed that the suspect had a weapon and yelled to fellow officers that the suspect was armed with a handgun. A second officer on the scene witnessed the struggle and observed the suspect holding the gun. At that time, the officer struggling with the suspect discharged his duty weapon, striking the suspect. That officer then immediately began providing medical aid to the suspect until an ambulance arrived. Campfield died several hours later at a hospital. The suspect’s gun was recovered on the scene.”
Campfield’s sister said her brother is a father of seven children.
“They have made him seem like he was a terrorist,’ Thomas said. “He was an awesome father and an awesome friend, and they took him from us. He was no menace to society.”
The officer who fired the fatal shot is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. That officer has not been identified at this time.
The Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office will review the shooting, which is customary in shootings involving police officers.
Chief Hank Stawinski said the specialized unit officers were all in uniform and the officer who fired “perceived that individual to be a direct threat to himself,”
Thomas said she believes the incident was out of character.
“I’m not saying that just because he’s my brother,” Thomas said. “This whole neighborhood will tell you, this was not him. No I do not have confidence in the police investigation, and I’m not going to look forward to the investigation.”
She said they have always felt a “certain kind of way about police,”
“Sometimes you get the bad apples. My feelings (toward police) were changing, but now you just killed my brother,” Thomas said. “How am I going to tell my nephew that? His father got killed by police, but you still trust them?”
Thomas said her brother was shot in the back. Police have not commented on that allegation.