No charges against DC officer who shot, killed man on Christmas Day

WASHINGTON — No charges will be filed against a D.C. police officer who fatally shot a man while responding to a domestic incident last Christmas morning. 

Gerald Hall, 29, was shot and killed on the threshold of his girlfriend’s house on the 3200 block of Walnut Street in Northeast, shortly before noon Dec. 25.

A statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Hall and his girlfriend got into an argument, and that Hall turned on all the burners on the gas stove and lit a paper towel on fire. Police responded to a 911 call from a neighbor who said “my neighbor’s getting beat up over there.”

When officers got there, the woman, who they said wasn’t hurt, said no physical fight had happened, and that her sister was coming to take her away. The officers left.

The officers were called back a little later, after the sister told 911 that Hall had locked her out and his girlfriend in. Shortly after the police got there, the statement said, the officers looked through the front door and saw Hall with a knife. The officers told Hall to put the knife down; Hall pushed his girlfriend out the front door. The statement said she had a cut on her arm.

A few seconds later, the door opened, and Hall stood on the threshold, behind his girlfriend, with a knife in his right hand.

An officer shot Hall four times; he died at a hospital later.

“After a careful, thorough, and independent review of the evidence, federal prosecutors have found insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer used excessive force under the circumstances,” the statement said. “To the contrary, there is sufficient evidence that the officer was acting in self-defense and defense of others at the time of the shooting.”

There will be no federal or D.C. charges against the officer, who hasn’t been identified.

Shortly after the shooting, the office of Mayor Muriel Bowser released the body camera footage from the incident:

Editor’s note: The following video contains images that may be disturbing to people.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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