Maryland State Police Trooper First Class Wesley W. Brown, 24, was gunned down while working part-time security at an Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar on the 3400 block of Donnell Drive in Forestville, Md. Brown was described as a young man who had a bright future ahead of him.

“TFC Brown was a remarkable young man,” said First Sgt. Rodney Morris, Brown’s commanding officer. “He was on his way to becoming a very fine trooper. All he wanted to do is serve his community. If there was an assignment for an event here in Prince George’s, he was one of the first ones I’d display.”

A disgruntled customer was escorted out of the restaurant by Brown after a dispute over the customer’s bill, according to Maryland State Police. About 30 minutes later, as Brown stepped outside of the restaurant to make a phone call, a gunman shot him without warning. Brown mustered enough energy to stumble back inside the restaurant, at which point patrons dialed 911.

Brown was wearing a Maryland State Police jacket with his badge hanging from his neck and had his cruiser parked in front of the restaurant. He also was wearing a bulletproof vest, but police officials say the way he was shot, the bullet managed to avoid his chest, piercing his heart.

Police officials say whoever would shoot a sworn officer of the law shows no regard for the law. “This person is dangerous,” said Maj. Andrew Ellis, public affairs officer for the Prince George’s County Police Department. “Anybody who would take a shot and kill an armed police officer, a guardian of society, would have no questions or qualms about harming anybody else that gets in his way.”

Brown graduated from Crossland High School and studied criminal justice at Prince George’s Community College. He was a member of the police force for three-and-a-half years and started his own mentoring group Young Men Enlightening Younger Men “to show the young men in the community that there is a bigger and brighter future ahead of them with unlimited possibilities.” The group would meet once a month and take a field trip. The June field trip was to New York City and due to take place the day of Brown’s murder. According to Morris, one of the groups other senior mentors pushed forward with the trip.

Brown’s commitment to the community has touched the hearts of many have expressed their regrets over his passing. “Trooper Brown exemplified the best in our communities and his death is a tragic reminder of the perils our law enforcement officers face every single day, and the bravery they show to ensure the safety of all Marylanders,” said Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with Trooper Brown’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

The PGPD, Maryland State Police, FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office are looking for a man 5-feet-6-inches to 5-feet-8-inches tall and weighing about 130 pounds. They’re offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect. The public is asked to call the PGPD’s homicide line at 301-772-4925 or its Crime Solver’s line at 866-411-TIPS.


George Barnette

Special to the AFRO