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Maryland police officer ambushed, killed by gunman

A US gunman has ambushed and killed an officer outside a police station in the Washington suburb of Landover, Maryland, in what authorities called an unprovoked attack.

The accused attacker was wounded in the ensuing shootout with several officers outside the station but was expected to survive, Prince George’s County Police Chief Henry Stawinski told reporters on Sunday.

A second suspect, who was believed to have accompanied the shooter but fled the scene when the gunfire began, was arrested about 30 minutes later following a search of the area, the police chief said.

Authorities described the second suspect as the gunman’s brother.

“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,” Stawinski said.

No explanation could be offered by police for what might have precipitated the attack on the District 3 police station, about 8 miles (13 km) east of Washington.

The slain officer was identified as 28-year-old Jacai Colson, a four-year veteran of the force. The FBI was assisting the Prince George’s County Police in investigating the case.

The shooting comes as law enforcement departments across the United States face increased scrutiny over allegations of excessive force against black people and other minority groups.

Police in the United States killed over 1,150 people in 2015, with the largest police departments disproportionately killing at least 321 African Americans, according to data compiled by an activist group that runs the Mapping Police Violence project.

The report also said charges against police officers who do use deadly force are very rare and that police use of lethal force is not correlated to violent crime rates.

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