A Fairfax County grand jury on Monday night returned the indictment against Torres, who was released from the department in July. He turned himself into authorities at the Fairfax County Detention Center. He is being held there without bond.
The charges are the first time a FCPD officer has faced criminal charges stemming from an on-duty shooting, the department said.
Torres was among officers at John Geer’s townhouse on Aug. 29, 2013. Geer, in a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, was in a standoff with police for 42 minutes. Torres said Geer said he had a gun, but other police at the scene said Geer placed it on the ground.
In the midst of negotiations, Torres fired one shot at Geer, 46, without warning, officers said.
Police then waited for a SWAT team and did not enter the house for more than an hour, according to testimony. They found Geer dead inside the house.
Torres told investigators he felt Geer was a threat when he brought his hands down to waist level. The other officers on the scene said Geer’s hands were above his head the entire time.
“It was not accidental,” Torres told investigators and The Washington Post reported. “No, it was justified. I have no doubt about that at all. I don’t feel sorry for shooting the guy at all.”
It took FCPD more than a year to publicly identify the shooter and fully investigate the shooting, which sparked protest in a year where police shootings are under examination around the country, such as Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Mo., among others.
It also initiated a police practices review panel in Fairfax County.
Fairfax County paid Geer’s family nearly $3 million in a civil case settlement earlier this year.
FCPD Chief Ed Roessler said in a statement Monday that he would meet with Geer’s family to discuss the administrative handling of the case.
“We have great respect for the Special Grand Jury process, the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Fairfax County, and the criminal justice system as this matter proceeds,” the chief aid in statement. “The loss of life is tragic for all. We express our sympathy to the Geer family, support to our great community and the men and women of the Fairfax County Police Department.
Photo: Adam Torres/FCPD