In video released Thursday by the Fairfax County Police Department, an officer can be heard repeatedly telling a man to “get off my gun” before other responding officers shoot and kill the man.
Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said the officer is lucky to be alive. The footage of the May 11 incident released by police included gas station security video, as well as video from three officers.
Here’s the sequence of events that led up to the shooting.
The officer was calmly talking to the man, whom police would later identify as Brandon Lemagne, 38, of Newport News, at a Citgo on Richmond Highway in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County. A license plate reader near the 6300 block of Richmond Highway caught the plate of the stolen U-Haul Lemagne had been driving, police said. The theft occurred in Richmond.
After the officer tells Lemagne why he is about to detain him, Lemagne reaches for the officer’s gun holster and there’s a struggle, the video shows. The officer calls for help. During the struggle, Lemange opens the door to the officer’s patrol car and pushes him in.
The officer is heard saying, “He’s going for my gun! He’s going for my gun! Get off my gun!”
Lemagne puts the car in reverse and hits the gas. The car rolls into the nearby McDonald’s parking lot and strikes two vehicles.
Two officers responding to the scene get there within two-and-a-half minutes from when Lemange pulled into the gas station. On the video footage, multiple shots are heard. Shots are fired from a distance by one officer. Then, as another officer pulls Lemagne from the patrol car, more shots are fired at close range.
The officer involved in the struggle was treated and released from the hospital. The officers who fired the shots are on administrative leave.
“The perpetrator attempted viciously and violently to disarm our uniformed Fairfax County police officer. I think you saw that rather clearly. On top of that, he was literally abducted and taken hostage in his own marked police car,” Davis said.
The chief called the attack a “once in a generation” incident, and said the actions of the responding officers were appropriate. The double-retention holster the officer had may have saved his life, Davis said. The second line of retention held, after the first failed.
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Feature image courtesy YouTube/Fairfax County Police