Alexandria’s police chief says he doesn’t yet know how many officers fired their weapons or how many shots were fired in the Feb. 18 police shooting of a man on Duke Street.
Police shot and killed Taft Sellers, 30, of Alexandria after responding to a domestic disturbance. Witnesses told Patch they heard multiple shots fired.
On Monday, Police Chief Earl Cook told reporters that officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave, per departmental policy. Police know how many officers responded to the scene, but Cook said he doesn’t know how many discharged their weapons, pending the outcome of ballistics tests and the ongoing investigation.
Cook told reporters he has faith in his officers.
“My presumption is, my officers will always act, hopefully, with good judgment and based on training,” he said. “So, our officers are trained to respond to a threat, and I make an assumption that they had a treat and they responded to a threat, and other than that I await the investigation.”
Cook said he did not yet know if anyone other than officers fired a weapon. The person who made the 911 call that alerted police to the domestic incident did report a man at the scene had a weapon, he said.
The domestic incident involved a family disagreement, Cook said. Who made the call remains under investigation.
Cook said the department has launched both a criminal investigation, to help determine whether any charges will be brought in the case, and an administrative investigation to determine whether officers acted in line with departmental policy. The results of the criminal investigation will be sent to Commonwealth's Attorney Randy Sengel.
The department has also contacted the Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigations and meets quarterly with the Alexandria Human Rights Commission, Cook said. He said Alexandria last officer-involved shooting occurred four years ago, when an officer shot and injured a man.
Cook said he has been in constant contact with Sellers’ family since the shooting to offer them his support. Anyone who witnessed or has information regarding the incident is asked to call the Alexandria Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Section at 703-746-6711.
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