TEMPLE HILLS – The county is reeling following the death of a second three-year-old girl in only a week.
Last week a three-year-old girl died when two men got into an altercation. Police are still searching for 25-year-old Davon Wallace, the suspected shooter.
In the latest incident, a man is suspected of shooting and stabbing his own daughter before he died in a shootout against Prince George’s County Police.
“It’s been a challenging month,” Police Chief Mark Magaw said. “It’s heart-wrenching. Please keep these families in your thoughts and prayers. As a father I don’t know how you deal the emotional and physical pain of losing a three year old.”
According to Major Jason Johnson, commander of the police department’s internal affairs division, police received a call at about 1 p.m. Saturday after a man identified as 38-year-old Frederick Miller went to the home of his three-year-old daughter, Laila Miller, in Fort Washington. There, he shot his daughter’s grandfather and great-grandmother and took her to his car.
Magaw said the grandfather and great-grandmother are in critical but stable condition.
After Miller left the home with his daughter, police attempted a traffic stop, Johnson said, but Miller fled and took police on a pursuit lasting six minutes. The chase ended when Miller’s vehicle lost a wheel. Miller then engaged police in what Johnson called an “armed encounter” involving five police officers and one Maryland State Trooper.
Miller died in the shootout, but police found Laila also suffering from a gunshot wound. Police attempted to render aid, Johnson said, but she died at a nearby hospital. However, Magaw said an autopsy performed by the D.C. Medical Examiner’s office shows Laila suffered from stab wounds and a gunshot to the head taken from 3-6 inches away. Magaw said police found a 4 ½ inch blade with blood on it in Miller’s vehicle, and also found his revolver.
“This was not a law enforcement bullet fragment,” Magaw said. “After consulting the medical examiner, no one else could have killed the baby girl other than her father.”
All of the officers involved are on administrative leave pending the results of the department’s investigation.
Following Laila’s death, Magaw and other county officials are calling on residents to take on a more active role in helping to prevent domestic violence incidents from happening using the county’s 2-1-1 hotline.
“Hindsight is always 20/20,” Magaw said. “Moving forward, when we see things, we don’t really care who calls us—we just want to try and get in front of these things as best we can.”
County Executive Rushern Baker III said the county has experienced too many domestic-related incidents recently and urged residents to call 2-1-1 for confidential assistance.
“To stop domestic violence within our communities, we must all play an active role in identifying these situations before they happen,” Baker said. “We need everyone’s help dealing with the root causes of domestic violence such as mental illness, insufficient conflict resolution skills, drug and alcohol abuse and depression. As a father, I can only imagine the pain one must feel at the loss of a son or daughter. It is imperative that we bond together and protect our children from this kind of violence. I am urging everyone to join me as we work together to stop these recurring domestic violence situations in Prince George’s County and throughout this region.”