DC police chief says man was killed during struggle with officer

D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee on Oct. 19, 2021. (Courtesy D.C. police)

D.C.’s police chief shared some more details about a shooting in which an officer killed a man Monday afternoon.

Robert Contee identified the victim Tuesday as 30-year-old DeAndre Johnson. He was shot while officers were trying to serve a temporary protection order in an apartment in the 1300 block of Congress Street Southeast, just north of Oxon Run Park.

Days earlier, Contee said, Johnson had allegedly threatened a woman and held a gun to her head.

“There is a prior history of domestic violence between Mr. Johnson and the female victim,” the chief added.

Police later seized a weapon from “a vehicle associated” with Johnson, but were unable to find and arrest him at the time.

On Monday just after 4:30 p.m., seven officers went to the apartment in Congress Heights to serve the order, and concluded that an arrest should be made over the reported assault.

Contee said Johnson “became aggravated,” and that officers tried to de-escalate the situation and placed themselves between Johnson and the woman accusing him of assault.

“One of the officers began to place Mr. Johnson in handcuffs,” Contee said. “Mr. Johnson resisted, resulting in an intense physical struggle.”

Due to that struggle, the officers’ body-worn camera was deactivated and then reactivated, he said.

Shots were fired during the struggle, Contee said, because officers said that Johnson had grabbed one officer’s gun. Those shots, he said, were fired as the officer told colleagues “He’s got my …”

“This really unfolds very, very rapidly once the struggle starts, and I think most people will see that when the body-worn camera video is released,” Contee said. “It is very quick.”

The camera angle, Contee said, “does not clearly capture all aspects of the struggle.”

Johnson was shot twice in the back.

Federal prosecutors will look into the incident, Contee said, as will D.C. police’s internal affairs division. The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.

WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report.

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to WTOP.com when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer.

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