A grand jury decided Monday not to indict the Fairfax County officer who shot and killed an unarmed shoplifting suspect near Tysons Corner Center in February.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano had announced a news conference for the afternoon to discuss the fatal shooting of Timothy Johnson. The grand jury’s decision changed that.
“Earlier this morning I sat with Timothy Johnson’s family and told them I expected an indictment to come today in the killing of their son, so I can only imagine their pain and shock when they received the news that the officer — who shot and killed their unarmed son — was not indicted,” Descano said in a statement.
“Since, by law, no prosecutors were permitted to be present in the room when the investigating officers made their presentation to the grand jury, I can’t say for sure what information was conveyed to the grand jurors. In light of this outcome, I am evaluating all options on the path forward and continue to grieve Timothy’s loss.”
The officer who fired the round that killed DC resident Timothy Johnson on February 22 was identified as Sgt. Wesley Shifflett.
Shifflett was fired from the department after displaying “a failure to live up to the expectations of our agency, in particular use of force policies,” Police Chief Kevin Davis said during a March news conference.
Body-worn camera footage from the incident shows officers chasing Johnson on foot after he allegedly stole designer sunglasses from Nordstrom. Johnson was struck once in the chest after officers opened fire and taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
No weapon was found in the wooded area when police searched it.
Johnson’s family has called for an independent probe into the shooting.
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