FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — Fairfax County’s prosecutor will not criminally charge two officers who shot and killed a man outside the Springfield Town Center in June, saying they were justified in doing so.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano released the report from the incident when Christian Parker was killed. It comes three months after the incident and less than two months since Fairfax County police released body and dash camera footage to the public.
The body camera footage, plus reports, interviews, and evidence was presented to Descano who said the officer’s actions to “use the level of force they employed” was “legally permissible” because there was reasonable fear that Parker intended to either kill or harm an officer.
Descano’s office declined an interview request from DC News Now on Wednesday.
Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis issued similar beliefs at a July press conference.
“They were brave,” he said of his officers. “I think they acted lawfully.”
Jeffrey McKay, the chair of the county’s Board of Supervisors, tells DC News Now he believed police did everything they could to get Parker to comply, by repeatedly telling him to drop his gun.
“I did see the body-worn camera footage,” McKay said. “I’m not surprised by [Descano’s] decision based on what I saw.”
In his report, Descano said Parker’s fiance was interviewed after the shooting, and she said Christian told her “he would rather die than go back to jail.”
At the time of the shooting, there were warrants out for his arrest after prosecutors said he stole his brother’s gun and fired a shot inside his apartment.
In Fairfax County since 2005, there have been 50 “officer-involved shootings,” most recently an incident where one officer fired a shot after a police chase starting in Arlington County ended on Arlington Blvd., near Graham Rd.
47 of those cases were closed by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, and only once was an officer indicted.
In total, 66 officers were involved in those shootings. 48 were found to be in compliance with department policy, while six had a “sustained violation of department policy.” 12 officers’ cases are still under review, according to the most recent documents on FCPD’s website.
One case that remains open is the July shooting death of Jasper Lynch in his McLean home, one in which his family said the police’s actions “cannot be justified.”
The six officer-involved shootings in Fairfax County in 2022 are the most since 2008. In this year’s shootings, two people were killed — Lynch and Parker — and three people were wounded. One incident did not result in any injuries.