Census suspect pleaded guilty to manslaughter

Guard Dies After Shooting at U.S. Census Bureau
Guard Dies After Shooting at U.S. Census Bureau

WASHINGTON (AP) - A man charged in a crime spree that left a Census Bureau guard dead and a police officer wounded was previously convicted of manslaughter and recently was arrested in an assault case involving his "visibly afraid" girlfriend, according to court documents obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

Ronald Anderson, 48, was arrested Feb. 17 on a charge of assaulting his girlfriend in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Prince George's County, according to court records. He was released the day of his arrest.

The officer responding to a domestic dispute call said that the man's girlfriend, who is 20 years old, was clearly afraid.

"The victim was shaking, crying and was whispering while speaking because she was afraid of the suspect hearing her," the officer wrote, according to the documents.

The woman, whose 10-month-old son was home, told police that Anderson had hit her several times, knocking her into walls, because he thought she was looking at another man, the records say.

Another court record filed in D.C. Superior Court shows that Anderson pleaded guilty to manslaughter while armed in 1991 in Washington, D.C. No other details were immediately available about that case.

Anderson's attorney's phone number rang busy Friday.

The same woman from February's assault is listed as Thursday's kidnapping victim in a Metropolitan Police Department report released Friday.

She was taken at gunpoint from her home, the report said.

Shortly after that, a guard at the Census Bureau in Suitland, Maryland, saw two people fighting in a car that matched the description of the vehicle in the kidnapping, Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said Thursday.

When the guard approached the car, the man shot him and took off, crossing the border back into the nation's capital and firing at police who gave chase, Lanier said.

The man fired at them again during the chase before police blocked him and collided with his car, Lanier said. Cornered, the suspect opened fire again and police shot back.

Anderson and an officer were hit.

Anderson, who remained hospitalized in unknown condition Friday, was charged with armed kidnapping and assault on a police officer in Thursday's spree. More serious charges are expected to follow in the jurisdiction where the guard was killed.

Anderson turned 48 the same day as the shooting. A drug charge related to his February case had been set for a dismissal hearing Friday, but that was canceled. The trial on the assault charge is set for July.

The wounded officer is recovering. The Census Bureau guard who was shot, Lawrence Buckner, died at a hospital in Cheverly, Maryland, on Thursday night.

Buckner, 59, had served for about eight years in the U.S. Army and worked in the security field for more than two decades, according to a Friday statement from Hunt Valley, Maryland-based company Master Security, where Buckner was a contractor working for the federal government.

Buckner, who had been with Master Security for four years, leaves behind a wife, son and four grandchildren as well as a large extended family.

The woman whom Anderson allegedly kidnapped Thursday was found safe.

The shooting "was a tragic and scary event for the Census Bureau family," agency Director John Thompson said in a Friday statement.

"We know the situation last night was tense, especially for the hundreds of employees who sheltered in the building and in their cars for several hours not knowing when the incident would be over," he said.

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