Alleged Md. Gunman Caught; Man is Accused of Killing 2 Deputies

Prince George's County police early this morning arrested the Adelphi man who allegedly shot and killed two county sheriff's deputies Thursday night. James Ramiah Logan was found in the boiler room of a Langley Park apartment complex, only about two miles from the home where the officers died, authorities said.

Logan was arrested on warrants charging him with the fatal shootings of James V. Arnaud and Elizabeth Licera Magruder, the two Prince George's deputies who came to his parents' home to transport him to an emergency psychiatric evaluation that his family had sought.

The 2 a.m. apprehension came after Logan, 23, was spotted coming out of a building by undercover officers on routine surveillance near the Quebec Arms apartment complex at 8211 1/2 14th Avenue. When he saw the officers, Logan ran. He was cornered in the room, which was wrapped by a 8-foot high wooden fence and surrounded by overflowing green garbage dumpsters. Police canine units helped in the arrest, biting Logan on the ankle and triceps, said Capt. Andy Ellis, a county police spokesman, early this morning.

Police transported Logan to Prince George's Hospital for treatment of minor wounds, including three stitches and two sutures, Ellis said.

"This was a massive effort to locate this guy," Ellis said.

Police earlier had recovered a semi-automatic handgun, which they believe was used in the shooting, he added.

At 4 a.m. police took Logan to the criminal investigations unit at police headquarters for questioning, where his parents, sister, aunt and attorney waited to try to visit him.

"They won't let us talk to him. They won't tell us anything," said Logan's attorney, Scott Little. "We know nothing, that's why we're here at five in the morning."

Logan's parents, James and Karen Logan, sat in the family room in vain, hoping to speak with their son, whose behavior "radically changed" in the past week, his mother said. His mother speculated Logan has been under a lot of stress lately, with a wife, two sons, and trying to work part-time as a computer technician and attending computer training classes.

"My son is mentally ill right now," Karen C. Logan said. "My son was getting progressively worse every day."

Only hours before the shooting, Logan's wife had petitioned a court for an emergency psychiatric evaluation for him, saying Logan claimed to be hearing messages from God and thought "death is imminent."

In her petition to county District Court in Hyattsville, Valencia Flood Logan wrote that her husband "needs to be hospitalized immediately." She warned that Logan is "extremely paranoid" and that his "condition is worsening each day. . .‚. [He] keeps reading the Bible and is saying we are in Revelations," referring to a part of the Bible often interpreted as a description of how the world will end.

The two deputies, Magruder, 30, and Arnaud, who would have turned 54 today, were working an overtime shift Thursday night when they arrived at Logan's parents' house in the county's Adelphi neighborhood, where Logan was living. Logan apparently was in a back bedroom.

"They tried to talk him out of the bedroom," Ellis said yesterday. "At some point, he came out suddenly shooting."

Arnaud, nicknamed "Sarge" and a 13-year member of the force, was struck in the throat by a bullet and died at the scene. Magruder, a rookie deputy and a mother of a 3-year-old boy, was shot in the back of the head and died at a hospital. Logan fled in a silver Dodge Charger, still carrying the handgun used in the killings, authorities said.

The manhunt began immediately after the killings at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday and continued throughout Prince George's and surrounding jurisdictions. Police helicopters hovered. Officers in camouflage gear – some with assault rifles, others with search dogs – tromped through woods. In the 9300 block of Lynmont Drive, where the shootings occurred, dozens of investigators went door to door, interviewing neighbors.

After this morning's arrest, county and sheriff's office investigators closed down the parking lot and courtyard of the Langley Park complex, seeking to gather any possible forensic evidence.

About three weeks ago, according to court documents in St. Mary's County, Logan was driving a white 1986 Pontiac in the community of Hollywood when a state trooper stopped him for speeding. After allegedly smelling marijuana, the trooper summoned additional officers to help search Logan and his two passengers.

Authorities said they found small plastic bags of powdered cocaine and crack cocaine in the car, a large bag of marijuana, scales, a .38-caliber handgun and five rounds of ammunition. Logan and his companions were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, cocaine, crack and drug paraphernalia, according to court records. Logan, who was carrying $1,486.52 in cash, later was released from the St. Mary's detention center on $25,000 bond to await a trial.

In Prince George's, court records show, Logan pleaded guilty in November 1999 to two counts of felony theft and was sentenced to five years' probation.

In her petition, Valencia Logan did not specify when her husband's mental condition began deteriorating. She said Logan had been examined at Prince George's Hospital Center on Monday and diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia but now was refusing medical treatment.

He was staying with his parents in the small brick home where the couple has lived for 16 years when Arnaud and Magruder knocked on the front door at 9:26 p.m. Thursday.

The events that followed remain under investigation, but the violence unfolded quickly. At 9:34, police said, Magruder radioed for help. Then at 9:39, Logan's father dialed 911 and reported that the deputies had been shot.

The deaths were the first ever in the line of duty for the sheriff's department, which includes 147 deputies. Sheriff Alonzo D. Black called it "the most serious tragedy in the 306-year history of the department."

Police spent much of yesterday questioning Logan's wife, his parents and a person who was in the house with Logan and the parents when the shootings occurred.

Meanwhile, the deaths left members of the department visibly grief-stricken yesterday – and pondering how many times deputies have risked the same danger in serving arrest warrants, transporting prisoners and handling evictions.

"Any time you go to a location to arrest or take someone from their home, and when you are in a uniform, there can be resistance," said Lt. Robert Kiker. "We have been hit, punched, stabbed." At the height of the crack cocaine epidemic in the 1980s, "almost every warrant I served, I took a gun off the bad guy."

Arnaud, a grandfather as well as the father of two grown children, loved his job: "We called him Sarge because he used to be an Army drill sergeant, and he still wore his crew cut," Kiker said.

Arnaud lived in the Calvert County community of North Beach, and the sheriff there spent yesterday helping the family with funeral arrangements. He was "a guy who retired from the military and wanted to continue his life of public service," said Calvert County Sheriff John A. Bartlett Jr., a former Prince George's police officer.

Magruder was a newcomer to the force, deputized just three months ago. She had been "the top recruit in the class" when she graduated from the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy, Bartlett said. "She got the highest academic score."

On the cul-de-sac of neatly kept houses in Clinton where she lived with her husband and young son, neighbors said her death had hit hard.

"She was very pleasant and pleasing. Every time she would see me, she would smile and wave," said Deniscq Sealy. "It is sad what happened to her. It is disturbing."

As the sheriff's department mourned yesterday, some members also talked about how much more complicated – and dangerous – their jobs have become because of staffing cuts. Kiker said Magruder and Arnaud should have been part of a three-person team when they tried to take Logan into custody for the psychiatric evaluation.

"General orders dictate that we take three people," Kiker said. "But we were short last night."

There will be visitations for Arnaud at 2 and 6 p.m. Monday at Lee's Funeral Home in Owings. His funeral will be at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in North Beach at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Visitations for Magruder will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday at Church of the Great Commission in Suitland. Her funeral will be at the same church at 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

Recommended for you

Join the discussion

Copyright © 2019 All rights reserved.