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Fairfax County Police Still Won't Release Officer's Name in Herndon Shooting
Police Chief Ed Roessler declined to articulate the reason for not releasing the officer's name within 10 days.
By Dan Taylor (Patch Staff) - January 26, 2017 5:17 pm ET
HERNDON, VA — The Fairfax County Police Department has decided not to release the name of the police officer who fatally shot a man in a barricade/hostage situation in Reston earlier this month -- at least not yet.
While county policy is to release the name of an officer involved in a fatal shooting within 10 days unless the department can articulate risk to that officer, there are "several factors" at play that are causing police to withhold the officer's name for the time being, Roessler said in a statement Thursday.
"Because of the complexity of the investigation, I’m not in a position at this point to say whether a risk exists or not, therefore, it isn’t prudent to release the officer’s name at this time," he said.
Roessler added that he expects an update on the assessment in the "near future." The involved officer remains on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.
Fairfax County Police identified 32-year-old Mohammad Azim Doudzai as the suspect in a double-shooting and barricade in Herndon on Jan. 16 that ended in his death.
Police were called to a house in the 13300 block of Covered Wagon Lane at around 2:40 p.m. on that date to a report of two men who had been shot. Once on the scene, they found that a man was inside armed with a gun, and set up a perimeter to isolate the area, according to a report from the Fairfax County Police Department. Police tweeted Tuesday morning that Doudzai was a suspect, but noted that he was not yet confirmed as the shooter.
"Preliminarily, our investigation reveals the suspect fired several shots and started a fire, both inside the home," the report states. "Officers set up a perimeter, isolated the area and began evacuating neighbors. Members of the Crisis Negotiations Team and SWAT were called to assist. They made several attempts to negotiate with the suspect and have him voluntarily surrender."
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During the ordeal, officers learned another man was trapped inside and couldn't escape.
"As smoke inundated the house and billowed out the windows, officers heard repeated gunshots," the report continues. "Officers also observed the suspect holding and moving around with at least one knife. Out of concern for the hostage and the suspect, officers made the decision to approach the home."
When they approached the front door, the suspect stepped outside armed with a knife and then lunged at officers, prompting them to open fire. Officers immediately started rendering aid to the man after shooting him, but he was pronounced dead after being taken to the hospital.
Both shooting victims are expected to survive, and the hostage was quickly rescued from the home. No one else was injured during the incident.
Detectives will "continue their investigation to piece together a chronological sequence of events and determine the exact relationship between the victims and the suspect," the report notes. Police ask that anyone with information call 703-691-2131.