UPPER MARLBORO, Md., March 13 (UPI) — A Maryland police officer died Sunday after he was involved in a shootout in front a police station near Washington, D.C, authorities said.

The alleged gunman and another suspect are in custody, authorities said.

Officer Jacai Colson

Officer Jacai Colson

Jacai Colson, 28, a member of the Prince George’s County police force for four years, was shot and killed in a what police describe as an “ambush. ” The gunman opened fire about 4:30 p.m. Colson fired back but was shot and later died at Prince George’s Hospital Center.

“This man launched an attack on a police station and engaged several Prince George’s County police officers in a gunfight to which they responded heroically,” said Henry P. Stawinski III, the county chief of the police, said at a news conference.

Colson, who would have turned 29 this week, was an undercover narcotics officer who typically worked in dangerous situations, Stawinski said.

“Jacai had an infectious smile,” John Teletchea, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, told reporters. “He lit up a room. He was a tremendous personality that made everybody smile and wanted to be everything to everybody.”

The shooting happened in front of the department’s District III station, next to department headquarters, about 20 miles from downtown Washington.

“He fired one shot, and then he started pacing back and forth, then fired another shot,” Lascelles Grant, who lives next to the station, told The Washington Post.

Grant said the man was dressed in black and fired a handgun at the station.

“Who would shoot a police station on Sunday evening?” said Grant, who is a nurse. “This is insane.”

Police don’t know what the motive was for the shooting. The two suspects were identified as brothers Malik Ford and Michael Ford of Temple Hills,

The department described the incident at the time as a possible “active shooter” situation around 5 p.m. On Twitter, the department told people near the county’s District III station next to headquarters to stay inside and avoid the area. Police lifted the order about 7:30 p.m.

“Officer critically wounded,” one tweet read. “Palmer Park/Landover residents near Barlowe Rd/Rt 202: Shelter in place. Shooter(s) at large.”

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