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JUST IN: Suspect on run in shooting ‘mistakenly’ released from jail after arrest

Brian Wardell Morris, the suspect in connection to a shooting in the West End on Jan. 15, 2023 (via APD)

(Updated 3 p.m.) The 27-year-old suspect in a West End Shooting on Jan. 15 was “mistakenly released” from the Prince George’s County jail five days after the offense, according to Alexandria Police.

Police released the identity of the suspect, Brian Wordell Morris, who is wanted for allegedly shooting a 22-year-old man three times during a child custody transfer with the suspect’s child.

The victim was shot multiple times at around 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15, at an apartment building in the 4600 block of Duke Street.

The girlfriend of the victim called police and told the dispatcher that her “baby’s father shot her boyfriend.”

According to police:

On January 20, 2023, the Alexandria Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit with the help of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task force took Brian Wordell Morris Jr., 27, a City of Alexandria Resident, into custody in connection with this incident.

On the same day, Mr. Morris was mistakenly released from a Prince George’s County Jail; his current whereabouts are unknown.

The 22-year-old victim was shot in the torso and the back and is expected to recover.

The Prince George’s County Department of Corrections released this statement on Jan. 24:

On January 20, an inmate was released from the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections (PGDOC) by mistake. Brian Wordell Morris Jr. was transported to PGDOC at 2:45 p.m. January 20 on an open warrant for a malicious wounding charge stemming from Alexandria, Virginia. He was erroneously released more than an hour later at 4:03 p.m. The Department of Corrections’ Office of Professional Responsibility and Legal Affairs is investigating the incident. Multiple jurisdictions are working to locate Morris to include the Alexandria Police Department, the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. 

Police reviewed video of the incident, which showed the mother of the child walk from her car to the suspect’s car, take the child into custody and then back. The male victim then approached the suspect’s car, opened a passenger door and “appears to be shot multiple times,” police said in the search warrant affidavit. “[The victim] retreats on foot as the shooter exits the vehicle and shoots one more time in his direction.”

As previously reported, last August, the suspect was found guilty of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, assault and battery and violating his probation. Alexandria Circuit Court Judge James C. Clark sentenced him to four years for the possession and assault charges and six years for the probation violation, with all but one year suspended. The suspect was then released for time served.

APD asks anyone with information to contact Detective John Bratelli via phone at 703-746-6699, email at [email protected], or to call the APD non-emergency line at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

Alexandria’s Sexual Assault Center and Domestic Violence Program is open, and hotlines are available 24/7 at 703-684-7273 [Sexual Assault Hotline] or 703-746-4911 [Domestic Violence Hotline].

Map via Google Maps

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