FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — The Fairfax County Police Department said a man from Newport News, Va. was the person shot and killed by police after he assaulted an officer in the Alexandria area Thursday afternoon.
The police department released 38-year-old Brandon Lemagne’s name Friday afternoon.
Police said around 4:05 p.m. on Thursday, Lemagne drove past a license plate reader which indicated that the U-Haul truck he was driving had been stolen. An officer saw the truck in the 6300 block of Richmond Highway. Lemagne pulled into a gas station parking lot, got out of the truck, and walked away.
The Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) said video shows the officer and Lemagne talking, then walking towards the officer’s cruiser. The officer told Lemagne he’d be detained because of the stolen U-Haul, which was taken from Richmond, Va. on May 3. It’s at that point that Lemagne is accused of attacking the officer, grabbing the officer’s gun, and trying to take the gun from the officer’s holster. Police said Lemagne held onto the officer’s gun, hit him in the head, and pulled him across the gas station parking lot, trying to get the gun out of the holster.
The police department said Lemagne opened the cruiser’s door and forced the officer into it. While that took place, investigators said the cruiser was put into reverse and sped backwards with the officer trapped underneath Lemagne. The officer radioed for emergency assistance. He told dispatch Lemagne had his gun.
The cruiser hit two vehicles and a business, then came to a stop. Police said Lemagne continued to attack the officer as two other officers got to the scene.
One of the officers who arrived fired his gun while Lemagne still was on top of the officer. The second officer who arrived tried to get Lemagne off the officer who was inside the cruiser. That second officer pulled Lemagne out of the cruiser, then fired his gun.
Lemagne died as a result of the gunfire. The officer who initially approached Lemagne went to the hospital for treatment of his injuries and was released from the hospital. The police department said the officer’s duty belt was on him, with the gun holstered, throughout the assault. The gun had been pulled from his hip to the front of the officer’s waistband.
The officers who fired their guns are a 24-year veteran and an eight-year veteran of the force. Both are assigned to the Mount Vernon Police District. The Fairfax County Police Department placed them on restricted duty status, which is department policy in situation such as this, pending the outcome of the criminal and administrative investigations.
The Major Crimes Bureau handles the criminal investigation into the use of force. The body-worn camera footage will be released within 30 days in accordance with the department’s guidelines. The results of the criminal investigation will be presented to the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.
Steve Descano, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney, told DC News Now on Friday: “I received and started reviewing the body-worn camera footage last night. At this stage, consistent with standard operating procedure, my team is undertaking an independent and thorough review. I can assure the community that I will come to an independent decision in this matter.”
FCPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is conducting an administrative investigation, along with an independent review by the Police Auditor. The names of the officers will be released within 10 days and in accordance with the department’s policy.