A Maryland man who claims that he was attempt “suicide by cop” when he opened fire on a police station was convicted of murder and sentenced to nearly 200 years in prison on Thursday.
Michael Deandre Ford, along with his two brothers, Elijah and Malik, drove to the police station in Palmer Park, Md. On March 13, 2016 and opened fire on the building according to the Baltimore Sun. The shooting led to the accidental death of an undercover narcotics officer named Jacai Colson.
Colson was killed by a fellow officer who mistook him for the gunman firing at the station. A Prince George’s County grand jury convicted Ford in November of second-degree murder for creating the conditions that led to the deadly shooting.
In addition, Ford was also found guilty of 30 counts of assault and weapons charges. Ford’s brothers, who drove him to the police station and recorded the shooting also were sentenced in Prince George’s County Circuit Court. Elijah Ford was sentenced to 12 years after earlier pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Malik Ford was sentenced 20 years for attempted second-degree murder, use of a handgun in commission of a felony and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
Prosecutors argued Michael Ford “created a combat zone” outside the station that ultimately resulted in Colson’s killing. They said that he was seeking infamy and had instructed his brothers to post video of the shooting on a viral video website.
Ford claimed that he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone and that he was suffering from suicidal thoughts on the morning of the shooting. He said that he fired at the station to draw gunfire and die at police hands in a form of “suicide by cop.”
Ford had recorded what he called his last words before heading to the police station with his brothers. Once there, Ford fired at the station’s doors, passing cars, officers responding to the scene, and at an ambulance.
Colson arrived in street clothes as he was arriving to work an overtime shift and immediately began to shoot at Ford – allowing officers to close in. Officer Taylor Krauss testified that he believed Colson was the gunman ambushing the police station and fired a single shot, killing Colson.
“Had I known it was a police officer, I never would have taken a shot,” testified Krauss, who was cleared by a grand jury in Colson’s shooting. Krauss also said he shot at Colson, who was Black, because he matched the suspect description.
According to a lawsuit filed by Colson’s family, he his badge in hand and was yelling “Police!” when he was shot by Krauss. The lawsuit also says Colson did not match the description of the gunman attacking the police station.