Police Fatally Shoot Man After Mistaking Pellet Gun For Assault Rifle

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Police say they shot and killed a man who they believed was carrying an assault rifle that actually was a pellet gun. (Photo by Heather Curtis/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

Police say they shot and killed a man who they believed was carrying an assault rifle that actually was a pellet gun. (Photo by Heather Curtis/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

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UPDATED: May 31, 2014 11:55 a.m.

SUITLAND, Md. (WNEW) — Police in Prince George’s County fatally shot a man early Friday morning after they mistakenly believed the pellet gun he was carrying was an assault rifle.

Officers were called to the Carriage Hill Apartments in the 3300 block of Curtis Drive in Suitland just after 2 a.m. Friday for a dispute between two men, one of whom reportedly was armed with a long gun, police spokesperson Julie Parker said.

Parker says the officers fired at the 20-year-old man, identified as Mark Anthony Blocker, after he refused several requests from police to put down his weapon. Blocker was transported to the hospital where he later died.

Police say two pellet guns were recovered from the shooting scene — one that resembled an assault rifle and one handgun. The handgun was recovered from a second man, who was not hurt.

Photo credit: Prince George's County Police

Photo credit: Prince George’s County Police

The two officers involved in the shooting were unharmed and have been placed on routine administrative leave.

The officers are identified as 12-year veteran Corporal Vincent Tabbs, and 4-year veteran Police Officer Andrew Nacin.

The incident remains under investigation.

The shooting took place across the street from Overlook Elementary School, but officials say the school’s operations won’t be impacted by the police investigation.

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