Answers may be slow in 3-year-old’s fatal shooting during dad’s gun battle with police

WASHINGTON — The head of the Prince George’s County, Maryland, police union said Sunday that it may not be clear for months whether a 3-year-old girl killed Saturday during a gun battle between her father and police was shot by her father or one of the six officers who fired on his car while the child was inside.

Dean Jones, president of the Fraternal Order of Prince George’s County Police, said the officers involved in the shooting are “all hurting right now.”

“They’re wondering if they’re the one that hurt the child,” Jones said. “They were trying to do the right thing, and it didn’t go well at all.”

The officers were pursuing the child’s father following a shooting at a home in Fort Washington, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Police said that the man shot the child’s maternal grandfather and great-grandmother there. They were hospitalized in serious condition Saturday evening.

The man was also killed in the gunfight. Neither the man nor his daughter was identified by police.

Jones said it won’t be clear whose shot killed the child until autopsy reports return and ballistic tests are complete, a process that could take at least a few months.

On Saturday, Prince George’s County police spokesman William Alexander said it was not clear whether police knew the girl was in the car when they fired at it.

Jones said it appears that the initial shooting involving the girl’s grandparents may have stemmed from a custody battle between the father and mother, but the situation is still being investigated. The child’s mother was not at either scene, police said.

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