Rodney Edwards killed after pointing gun at officer coming to his aid

Edwards was shot and killed on Saturday night. (Family photo)

PALMER PARK, Md. (ABC7/AP) - A Landover man was shot and killed Saturday night when he pointed a gun at a Prince George's County Police officer who was coming to his aid.

Rodney Deron Edwards, 35, was lying in a grassy area in the 7500 block of Greenleaf Road in the Palmer Park area when the officer arrived to check on him, police spokesperson Cpl. Henry Tippett says.

Tippett tells ABC7 that the officer involved in this shooting had just left the police headquarters on Barlowe Road at about 9:52 p.m. Saturday night after working a Toys for Tots event.

The officer was driving an unmarked blue van down Greenleaf Road when he saw the man, later identified as Edwards, lying on the side of the road in the grass, Tippett says.

The officer, out of concern for the welfare of the man, made a U-turn and went back to check on Edwards.

When the officer got of of the van, Edwards, for unknown reasons, got up and pointed a gun at the officer. The officer discharged his service weapon multiple times striking the suspect.

The officer was in uniform at the time of the incident, Tippett says.

Edwards was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Edwards' family is demanding answers for why their family member was shot and killed.

"Point blank range, five shots," Henry Edwards, Rodney's uncle, said. "Do the math. Something is not right here."

The involved officer, a two-year veteran assigned to the Bureau of Patrol, District IV, has been placed on administrative leave in accordance with departmental policy.

Police say they don't know why Edwards was lying next to the road or why he pulled the gun.

Tippett says the shooting is the 15th involving county officers in 2011.