Prince George's County police say Adrian Morris was a two and a half year veteran of the force. Morris, 23, had been involved with the 6th District since his teen years. (WJLA/Courtesy Prince George's County Police Dept.)
Prince George's County police released surveillance photos of one of the suspects believed to be involved in a pursuit that claimed an officer's life. (WJLA/Prince George's County Police photo)
Prince George’s County officer killed, another injured during pursuit.
Prince George’s County police officer involved in interstate crash.
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LAUREL, Md. (WJLA) - An accomplice to the suspect driver that was involved in a crash that killed a Prince George's County Police officer on Monday is in custody, police sources tell ABC7's Brad Bell.
The crash, which happened Monday afternoon on I-95 in Prince George's County, killed 23-year-old Officer Adrian Morris and seriously injured his partner.
The silver Acura that was driven by the suspect during the chase has been recovered in the District of Columbia as well, county police and MPD officials said Tuesday.
Morris was killed and his partner was injured when their cruiser crashed on I-95 while pursuing a suspect, officials said Monday. Morris was ejected from the cruiser after it left southbound I-95 and crashed into a ditch near the interchange with Powder Mill Road.
The driver of the suspect vehicle involved in the crash remains at large, sources say.
The officers were called to a Shell gas station, located at 6600 Sandy Spring Road in Laurel, for an attempted vehicle theft. While on the scene, a gas station employee told the officers he saw the suspects' gray Acura with a temporary license plate return to the station.
Morris and the other officer returned to their cruiser and a chase ensued.
At some point during the pursuit, Prince George's County Police Chief Mark Magaw says the cruiser left the roadway and crashed.
Police have also released surveillance photos of one of the suspects believed to be involved in the tragic pursuit.
Morris, who was driving the cruiser at the time, was a 2 1/2-year veteran of the force and had spent time at in the 6th District in Prince George's County since he was "15 or 16 years old."
The second officer, who has been with the force for about a year, has been released from the hospital following treatment of minor injuries.
"The community will wrap its arms around these officers and their families to get through this," County Executive Rushern Baker said.
A lookout is ongoing for the silver Acura with temporary tags that was involved in the pursuit and eventual crash. Magaw was unable to provide a tag number for the suspect car.
Magaw did say that the officers followed protocol during the incident and that he's "very proud" of their work.
"It shows the courage and dedication of these officers," Magaw said.
Prince George's County's 6th district serves the City of Laurel and northeastern portion of the county. Magaw said the fallen officer was a 2007 graduate of Eleanor Roosevelt High School and participated in the department's Explorer program in his teenage years at the same station.
Morris, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, was raised in Laurel, becoming a U.S. citizen in 2009.
After becoming a police officer, Morris continued to work with the Explorer program as an advisor and mentor, the department says.
"Police Officer Morris represented the very best that our agency has to offer," said Magaw. "He wanted to be a Prince George's County police officer from a very young age, and it showed in all of his interactions with the community."
Ernsto Vasquez's knees buckled when he learned the young officer had died.
Vasquez saw the whole incident unfold before his eyes as he traveled I-95 southbound in Beltsville.
He says there is no doubt in his mind that the Acura driver intentionally cut off the marked police cruiser, sending it off the highway.
Vasquez says he wants the guy caught.
“These officers were just doing their job,” he says.