Man who sought death by police charged with murder

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UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) — A man accused of shooting at a Maryland police station in an attempt to provoke officers to kill him has been charged with second-degree murder, police and prosecutors said Wednesday.

Michael Ford, 22, is facing 25 charges, also including attempted murder and conspiracy, in the shootout Sunday afternoon outside a police station in Landover, a Washington suburb. Several police officers returned fire after Ford started shooting, police said, and Officer Jacai Colson, who arrived at the scene in plain clothes and an unmarked car, was struck and killed by friendly fire.

Ford was shot by police and remains hospitalized, but he’s being held on a no-bond status, said John Erzen, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County state’s attorney’s office.

Police have said Ford fired on the station to draw officers’ attention and hoped to die in a “suicide by cop.” His two brothers – Malik, 21, and Elijah, 18 – drove him to the station and used their cellphones to record video of the firefight, according to police. They also made a video of their older brother’s “last will and testament” minutes before the shooting started, police said.

The two younger brothers face charges including attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. A judge denied bond for both Malik and Elijah Ford during a hearing Wednesday afternoon.

The brothers appeared in a Prince George’s County court via closed-circuit television. Malik had to be treated by medical staff for a few minutes after he collapsed during the hearing while listening to relatives speak about his character. After treatment, the hearing continued with Malik Ford seated.

“I’ve lost three kids in one shot,” the young men’s father, Michael Thomas, said in court.

“He didn’t pull the trigger,” Thomas said of Malik Ford. “My son is excellent. He’s a great person.”

After bail was denied for Elijah Ford, his sister, Ebony Howard, blurted out to the judge, “Do you all have any incriminating evidence against him?”

The judge informed her that it was the state, not him, that gathers evidence against defendants.

Michael Thomas told the court that his sons’ mother, Lisa Ford, has chronic health problems and that Elijah is her primary caregiver. He said Lisa Ford had a heart attack after the shooting.

Another relative, who did not identify herself in court, said “Elijah was not seeking YouTube celebrity” when he allegedly used his cellphone to record video of his brother’s attack on the police station.

The relatives were represented in court by a public defender, Kevin Valdez, who declined to comment after the hearing or identify those who had spoken.

Malik and Elijah Ford also may face second-degree murder charges, although a court commissioner did not find probable cause to enter those charges against the brothers Wednesday. State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said Tuesday that she believes they can be charged under Maryland’s felony murder statute, which applies to someone who participates in a felony in which a murder is committed. Prosecutors could seek a grand jury indictment on that charge.

Written by Ben Nuckols