No charges against Herndon police officer who shot driver in July pursuit

Town of Herndon police (courtesy Herndon Police Department)

A Herndon police officer won’t face charges after shooting a driver this summer who was waving a handgun at police officers during a police chase, Fairfax County prosecutors announced Friday (Oct. 28).

The officer, whose name was withheld, reportedly fired five rounds and shot the driver three times in the July 5 incident. The driver was hospitalized for at least 15 days.

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said that his review found that the officer was “reasonable” in fearing for his life or serious bodily-harm.

“It wast therefore legally permissible for shooting officer to use the level of force he deployed,” Descano said in a statement. “Accordingly, I find no violations of criminal law on the part of shooting officer and decline to bring any criminal charge against him.”

The investigation by Descano’s office included references to dispatch records, radio communications, reports, interviews, camera footage and physical evidence. The police officer who shot the man did not have a functioning body-worn camera.

The man — who recovered from his injuries — was stopped by a police officer on July 5 after another officer reported that a stolen car was parked at 1110 Elden Street.

The driver and a passenger ran away when the officer approached the car, resulting in a foot pursuit towards Alabama Drive.

The officer who later shot the man and two other officers eventually tracked the driver and passenger to Alabama Drive Park.

When the driver was boxed in near single-family homes on Treeside Lane, the shooting officer said the driver “brandished a pistol,” according to Descano. Another officer warned the shooting police officer of the gun and called on the man to immediately drop his weapon. The shooting officer issued similar warnings.

The officer then fired their gun five times and struck the driver three times. Police apprehended the passenger when she climbed over the brick wall where the driver was cornered to check on him after he was shot.

FFXnow asked the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office whether the driver is facing any charges and for comment on the shooting officer’s body camera not being on, but did not receive responses by press time.

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