Washington D.C. Police Officer Allegedly Ambushed At 3 A.M. By Ax-Wielding Man Who Escaped

Chief Cathy L. Lanier. Source: Washington Metropolitan Police Department

Chief Cathy L. Lanier. Source: Washington Metropolitan Police Department

An ax-wielding man attacked a police officer driving a marked car at 3 a.m. today in an ambush, the Washington Metropolitan Police Department is reporting via Twitter and Facebook under the signature of Chief Cathy L. Lanier.

The officer was not injured by the ax, but was injured in the “attempted apprehension,” the department said. “He will be OK.”

“The axe shattered the [car] window,” the department said, noting the suspect escaped after struggling with the officer.

Police described the suspect as a “black male, 6’-1” to 6’-2” with a stocky build.”

Investigators have leads, the department said.

News of the attack in Washington came just a day after a Pennsylvania man accused of gunning down a state trooper in an ambush and seriously wounding another trooper was arrested after a 48-day manhunt.

The Washington attack occurred in the Fifth District. The department’s website says the Fifth District is in the northeastern quadrant of the city and includes a “diverse mix of neighborhoods, including Brookland, Ivy City, Trinidad and Woodridge.” The National Arboretum is situated in the district.

On Oct. 23, four uniformed New York City police officers were attacked by a man wielding a hatchet. That attack came just a day after a Canadian soldier was shot and killed and the Canadian Parliament building was attacked while the Prime Minister and lawmakers were inside.

Here is the full statement of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department as published minutes ago on Facebook (italics added):

By now, I am sure most of you have heard that we had an officer attacked by a person with an axe, while patrolling in his marked police car around 0300 hours this morning in the Fifth District. Most importantly, however, the officer did not sustain injuries from the axe. Rather, his injuries resulted from an attempted apprehension, and he will be OK.

Specific to this attack, the Fifth District officer was on patrol when he noted a suspicious person and went to investigate the situation. The suspicious person avoided the officer by entering an alley. The officer then entered the alley in his marked car and was ambushed by the person with the axe. The axe shattered the window, but did not strike the officer. The officer gave chase and caught up with the suspect, but after a brief struggle, he was able to escape.

As of now we have a general lookout for a black male, 6’-1” to 6’-2” with a stocky build. We have several leads that we are following up on at this point, but the investigation continues.

Lately, we have been putting out a lot of information to the force in regard to remaining vigilant at all times. While we do not have any information at this point on the motivation surrounding today’s attack, this situation underscores the need to always maintain a very high level of situational awareness while we are working. Recent incidents targeting uniformed law enforcement officers in Quebec, New York City, and now to one our own here in Washington, D.C. are reminders that we must always be ready for any eventuality. I encourage all members to maintain a high awareness of your environment, and to always notify the dispatcher of the location when investigating or entering suspicious situations.

Chief Lanier.

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One Response to “Washington D.C. Police Officer Allegedly Ambushed At 3 A.M. By Ax-Wielding Man Who Escaped”

  1. From the New York Daily News, in a report on the Washington attack:


    NYPD officials issued a safety directive Friday for uniformed officers, advising cops to “remain vigilant on post and approach all situations tactically.”

    “Effective immediately, all foot posts are to be assigned in pairs of two,” reads the memo, obtained by the Daily News. “There are to be no solo foot posts assigned citywide.”