Memorial to James M. McGee, Jr.
Officer Killed in the Line of Duty
End of Watch: February 7, 1995
Rank: Officer No. ___
Years of Service: 5
Location of Death: 25th and Good Hope Road, SE
Officer James McGee was shot and killed in a case of mistaken identity while attempting to make an off duty arrest at the intersection of 25th Street and Good Hope Road, SE. Officer McGee, while off-duty, witnessed a robbery in progress. He drew his weapon and attempted to detain the suspect and protect the cab driver being robbed. A marked patrol car happened upon the scene and uniformed officers, unaware of the situation, ordered everyone to drop their weapons. Officer McGee turned toward the officers to see who was ordering him to drop his weapon. The officers, who feared for their lives, shot and killed Officer McGee.
The two suspects fled on foot during the commotion but were later apprehended. Both were charged with felony murder in connection with Officer McGee’s death.
Officer McGee had served with the Metropolitan Police Department for five years and was assigned to the Seventh District.
Articles from the Washington Post – transcribed by Dave Richardson, MPD/Ret.
THE ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING DEATH OF OFFICER JAMES M. MCGEE BY ANOTHER OFFICER ON FEBRUARY 7, 1995, AND THE RACIAL TURMOIL THAT FOLLOWED AT 7D.
WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED FEBRUARY 8, 1995, PAGE D1
District Officer Fatally Shoots Off-Duty Colleague at Robbery
An off-duty D.C. police officer in street clothes was shot and killed by a fellow officer at a robbery scene last night in an apparent case of mistaken identity.
Based on a preliminary investigation, police sources said, the slain officer was shot shortly before midnight at 25th Street and Good Hope Road SE after he drew his gun and went to the aid of a taxicab driver who was being robbed.
One of two on-duty officers who approached the robbery scene in a patrol car fired at the off-duty officer, the sources said. All three officers were assigned to the 7th Police District, where the shooting occurred. Officials did not identify the officers.
It was not immediately clear whether any words were exchanged between the officers before the shooting. Witnesses reported hearing four shots. Police were questioning a suspect early today in the robbery of the cabdriver.
The shooting occurred at a time when D.C. police officers increasingly have come under attack on the city’s streets and when there has been a series of confrontations in which officers have shot suspects or been shot themselves.
In last night’s incident, police sources said the taxi driver who was being robbed stopped his cab in the middle of the street at Good Hope Road and 25th Street.
The off-duty officer apparently was driving by and saw the robbery. He approached the taxicab on Good Hope Road from the north. At the same time, the on-duty officers reached the scene from the opposite direction, said the sources, who spoke on the condition they not be named.
They said that the uniformed officers saw a man with a pistol drawn and that one of them fired.
The off-duty officer was taken to D.C. General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
D.C. police officers are required to carry their weapons while off-duty and in the city and are expected to respond to crimes they witness.
Police Chief Fred Thomas said early today that information about the incident was “just too sketchy” to release a detailed statement. The officer was the second off-duty officer slain this year. One died in January when two men attempted to rob him. Also last month, two uniformed officers were shot and wounded by a man who police say was targeting officers. No one has been arrested in the attacks. Another officer was wounded while trying to break up what he suspected was a drug transaction.
Those shootings came less than two months after a gunman killed a D.C. police sergeant and two FBI officers at police headquarters before taking his own life.