Accokeek, MD – Charles County Sheriff’s Corporal Patrick “P.J.” Mann died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound just prior to crashing his vehicle on Thursday night, according to his department.
Cpl. Mann, a school resource officer with 14 years on the force, was found dead inside his wrecked personal vehicle on Indian Head Highway just before midnight, WJLA reported.
The vehicle ran off the road and crashed after the corporal shot himself, Prince George’s County police said, according to WBAL.
He was pronounced dead at the scene, the Southern Maryland News Net reported.
After arriving at the scene, a Prince George’s County Police Department officer was sitting in his cruiser, when he was struck by a civilian motorist, WBAL reported.
The officer was flown to a local hospital, where he has been stabilized in serious condition.
The driver who crashed into the Prince George’s County officer was also hospitalized, and will face charges, police said.
“P.J. was a great school resource officer who was dedicated to the safety and well-being of students," Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry said in a statement, according to WBAL. "He was beloved by everyone who knew him. He was invested in the success of students and…[also] dedicated his time to mentoring a select group of students on academics, manners, life-skills and so much more.”
“For now I simply ask that you keep P.J., his family, his school resource family, students and staff with Charles County Public Schools, and his brothers and sisters at the Charles County Sheriff’s Office in your thoughts and prayers,” Sheriff Berry said.
Cpl. Mann hired on at the Charles County Sheriff’s Office as a patrol officer in 2005.
In 2008, he began serving as a school resource officer, and worked at four different schools during the decade that followed.
Cpl. Mann was assigned to the St. Charles High School at the time of his death.
Teacher Derrick Butler described Cpl. Mann as a “great guy” who “always had an encouraging word,” WJLA reported.
He ran an after-school mentoring program at the school, and the students loved him, St. Charles High School Principal Richard Conley told WJLA.
“Students would go to him to seek him out for things,” Conley explained.
“Cpl. Mann was a member of the St. Charles High School family,” the principal wrote in a letter to parents on Friday, according to Southern Maryland Newspapers Online. “He was more than a police officer at St. Charles. He taught classes, served as a mentor to our students and helped coordinate many of the youth camps held during the summer.”
“Cpl. Mann was highly regarded and this is a huge loss for our school community,” he added. “He was a true force for good for our kids and our school.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Charles County Sheriff's Corporal Patrick "P.J." Mann, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.