Hyattsville, MD – An enraged suspect wielding two knives was fatally shot when he charged at police on Thursday morning (videos below).
The incident occurred near the intersection of Belcrest Road and Toledo Road at approximately 7:15 a.m., after Prince George’s County police received a report of an armed subject near a Starbucks coffee shop, WJLA reported.
The suspect, later identified as 49-year-old Lancelot Shand, had allegedly used a metal pole to assault an employee at the same Starbucks several days prior.
Witnesses said that the suspect was running around carrying knives in his hands, WJLA reported.
Three Price George’s County police officers, six Hyattsville police officers, and one Mount Rainier police officer all responded to the scene.
After they located Shand, they spent the next half hour walking and talking with him in an attempt to de-escalate the situation, WJLA reported.
The officers Tased the suspect three times, but the shocks were ineffective, WTOP reported.
A supervisor with a less-lethal beanbag shotgun soon arrived at the scene.
“At some point, the suspect is heard saying that he embraces death and ‘I’m going to get you,’” Hyattsville Police Chief Amal Awad told WTOP. “And he’s specifically speaking to the supervisor who’s holding the shotgun.”
Pepper spray and four bean bag rounds were also used during the encounter, WJLA reported.
Officers deployed a flashbang in an effort to divert Shand’s attention, but the suspect charged directly at the supervisor armed with the less-lethal shotgun, WTOP reported.
The other officers opened fire in order to protect the supervisor, police said.
Cellphone footage recorded by witnesses showed Shand flailing his arms as he paced around the intersection in front of a line of officers.
The videos also captured the moment the knife-wielding suspect charged at the police supervisor.
At least two rounds the officers fired ended up hitting nearby buildings, WTOP reported.
Officers recovered Shand’s two knives – one of which appeared to be covered in blood – at the scene.
“In the 28 minutes between the first engagement and when shots were fired, officers used all non-lethal methods available to them,” Prince George’s County Media Relations Division Director Jennifer Donelan, told WUSA.
The investigation into the officer-involved shooting remains ongoing.
Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski praised the officers for how they handled the deadly threat.
“My compliments to the officers who worked diligently to try to contain this, to prevent violence,” Chief Stawinski said, according to WTOP, “but again, this officer armed with a less-lethal weapon being confronted with this individual carrying two lethal weapons that precipitated the officers’ firing in defense of that individual’s life.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland blasted police for allegedly failing to call a “mental health professional” to “peacefully de-escalate the situation,” The Washington Post reported.
The ACLU also alleged that the deployment of the flash bang caused Shand to run towards the officers.
“Running away from an exploding flashbang grenade is a natural and inevitable response,” the ACLU said in a statement, according to WUSA. “The police created a dangerous situation, causing an armed man to run towards them, and then used the inevitable result of their actions as the justification to shoot him.”
“Given the pattern of Maryland law enforcement officers gunning down Black and Brown people and their selective release of information, we are challenging the officers’ narrative,” the ACLU told WUSA. “Their language only continues to paint victims as threats while wiping their hands clean of any wrongdoing.”
“Poor training and systematic racism are not excuses for Maryland police agents to kill Black and Brown people at will with no accountability,” the ACLU’s statement read. “Together we must put a stop to police brutality and the needless killings of Black and Brown people.”
In May of 2018, Shand was involved in an altercation with a Carrollton police officer at a Starbucks shot on Annapolis Road, WTOP reported.
The officer was waiting in line for his order when a manager approached him and told him that Shand had allegedly pulled a knife on another customer the night prior.
According to investigators, Shand had allegedly pulled a knife and threatened to “slash” the customer’s neck after he refused to give the suspect a cigarette, The Washington Post reported.
The officer followed Shand out of the shop, but the suspect refused to stop, according to WTOP.
During the altercation that followed, the officer tased the suspect, but the jolt had no effect, WTOP reported.
As they struggled on the ground, both the officer and Shand were severely injured by a knife, resulting in them both having to undergo emergency surgery, police said.
The charges against Shand were ultimately dropped because the officer was injured by his own knife, according to WJLA.
You can watch cell phone footage of the officers’ encounter with Shand in the videos below: