Manassas Journal Messenger | Police shoot suspect at drug bust

A drug bust went awry Friday in the Old Navy clothing store parking lot at the Parkridge Shopping Center at Va. 234 and Interstate 66 north of Manassas at about 11:45 a.m. Friday, said Sgt. Dennis Mangan, Prince William police spokesman.

Detectives from the Prince William-Manassas-Manassas Park Narcotics Task Force shot a man after he rammed three undercover police sport-utility vehicles with his Chevrolet Tahoe.

From the location of two of the police vehicles at the scene it appeared the police were trying to box in the Tahoe to apprehend Ervin E. Jenkins who they believe was making a crack cocaine delivery at the shopping center.

“When they went to make the arrest he put the vehicle in reverse and rammed one of the police undercover vehicles,” Mangan said.

After Jenkins, 31, reversed the Tahoe and ran into the vehicle behind him, he put it in drive and rammed another police SUV in front of him as well, Mangan said.

Tyanne Delaney, a witnesses, said there were officers on foot in the parking lot at the time.

“It looked like they were coming from behind different cars in the parking lot,” the 41-year-old Bristow woman said.

Delaney said the men were wearing masks.

“The were advancing on the truck,” Delaney said.”It just looked like people after somebody in a car.”

Jenkins, who was last known to live in Warrenton, continued driving through the parking lot and hit another police vehicle and three civilian vehicles before he accelerated toward an officer who was on on foot, said a Prince William police Chief Charlie T. Deane in a police press release.

The undercover detectives, who had identified themselves as police officers, felt they were in danger and opened fire, and hit Jenkins, Mangan said.

“They were in fear of their life. They fired shots at the suspect,” Mangan said.

Jenkins did not return fire, Mangan said.

When the shooting started, Delaney said she went inside the Old Navy clothing store to warn people of the danger outside.

She said she heard five or six shots fired.

“I was telling them in the store, ‘Somebody’s out there shooting. Everybody needs to get down,’ ” Delaney said.

As the scene unfolded the people inside the store realized they were watching an arrest in progress.

“We kept watching and saw a police badge swinging from one of people and we’re like, ‘Oh they’re police,’ ” Delaney said.

Mangan said the detectives received information that Jenkins was to deliver an undisclosed amount of crack cocaine to the “western district” of the county sometime Friday.

Undercover agents were in touch with someone who was in touch with Jenkins.

“The under cover guys were getting information about where he was going to be,” Mangan said.

Jenkins kept changing the location of the drop, Mangan said.

“He decided on this location,” Mangan said. “The task force came out here to make the arrest.”

Rebekah Lash was in the store working when Delaney came in.

“This woman came in yelling, ‘Everybody get down,’ ” the 20-year-old Bull Run-area woman said.

Lash said she didn’t know whether or not to believe what she was hearing.

“It was really surreal,” Lash said. “People were screaming.”

Rebekah Lash’s mother, Mary Ann Lash, had just come to the store to pick up her daughter when the shooting started. She said she heard about 10 shots that sounded like a car backfiring.

“A couple came running up and said, ‘Get in your car,. Get in your car. There’s been a shooting,’ ” the 51-year-old said.

Mary Ann Lash said her first concern was for her daughter and the others in the Old Navy store.

She said she would expect something like the shooting if she had been in New York City, but never expected anything like Friday’s action in a parking lot in Prince William County.

“It just came on a normal day,”she said.

Delaney was shocked at the shooting as well.

“The store’s full of people going back and forth to their cars in the parking lot and this happens,” she said.”You think, ‘Oh my God, somebody’s going to get hurt besides the person they’re after.’ “

Jenkins, who police said has an extensive criminal history, was the only one injured in the shooting, Mangan said.

“They flew him to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries,” Mangan said.

Police charged Jenkins with attempted malicious wounding of a police officer and felony destruction of property.

Police did not say whether they found drugs in Jenkins’ car.

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on routine administrative leave pending an investigation to be conducted by the department’s internal affairs division, Deane said in the release.


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