Two officers from the Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland were shot while executing a search warrant for a narcotics unit – after entering the wrong apartment, according to reports.
The apartment's residents will not face charges, because the police department in question has determined that they were acting in justified self-defense.
On Thursday, Police Chief Hank Stawinski apologized for the error Thursday and stopped the execution of search warrants until the department reviews how it confirms addresses and locations of investigative targets.
Both officers were flown to Baltimore Shock Trauma for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
One of the wounded officers was treated and released, according to an announcement from the police department. The other officer remains hospitalized and is undergoing treatment for an injury to the arm and face. Both are assigned to the Special Operations Division.
Where did this happen?
The incident happened around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, as the Special Operations Unit was executing a search warrant for the Narcotics Enforcement Division in the 2700 block of Lorring Drive in Forestville, Maryland, reports state.
Stawinski said the man inside the apartment immediately surrendered when he realized police at the door.
The man yelled, “‘You’ve got the wrong address! Don’t shoot my daughter!’ ” Stawinski told the Washington Post.
The father and his daughter had fallen asleep in front of the TV and did not hear police announce themselves, Stawinski said.
The father was jolted awake by the commotion, thought burglars were entering his home, and told his daughter to run and hide, according to the report.
The nine-member police team had knocked on the door and announced themselves. Hearing no response, the officers entered the apartment with a “mechanical device,” Jennifer Donelan, a spokesperson for the police department, said at a news conference Thursday.
Once the door was open, an armed person inside the residence shot at the team, striking one officer in the hand and the other in the shoulder area.
One of the officers, the “point man,” was crouched below the other officers and fired back one bullet at the suspect, but missed him. A tactical medical officer on the team immediately assisted the injured officers and the other team members entered the apartment, Donelan stated.
“I’ve got to tell you, the relief that we are feeling right now is really hard to put into words,” Donelan said.
The Internal Affairs Division’s Special Investigation Response Team is investigating the shot fired by Cpl. Daniel Siculietano. No one was injured by the shot fired from his weapon.
Siculietano, who has been with the department for seven years, is on administrative leave as the investigation continues. That is standard procedure in all cases involving officers discharging their weapons, according to the police department.
No charges will be filed against the resident, the police department stated.