Mark Anthony Blocker, 20, shot and killed by police
SUITLAND, Md. (WJLA) - Just after 2 a.m. Friday, a call came in to the Prince George's County police department about two men arguing outside a Suitland apartment building.
The caller said one of the men had a gun.
When police arrived, they spotted the men and what looked like an assault rifle being held by one of the men - which turned out to be a pellet gun, police said later. The man's brother was also holding a pellet gun that resembled a handgun.
The man, who refused to put down the gun when officers demanded it, was shot and killed by police.
"It's really shocking to all of us, and it's really scary," said Paula Chapman, who lives in the Carriage Hill Apartments where the incident occurred.
The family of the two men dispute the officers' version of what happened, saying they never yelled at them to drop the gun. They are outraged - but residents of the Carriage Hill Apartments are wondering Friday - why didn't he just drop it?
"You put it down," Chapman said. "Because you know you have a gun, they don't know if it's a real gun or a play gun. You can't tell."
Since guns like these look so real, some in the area say the officers obviously would have felt threatened.
"Officers are always put in situations where their safety is jeopardized, so I definitely would have dropped it, because they are naturally going to react to protect themselves," said resident Jakia Chapman.
Early Friday evening, Prince George's County police identified the victim as 20-year-old Mark Anthony Blocker.
On Saturday, police identified the involved officers as Corporal Vincent Tabbs, a 12-year veteran, and Officer Andrew Nacin, a 4-year veteran. They have been placed on routine administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, police say.