Police identify man killed in shooting at The Wharf

Police in the District have identified the person killed during a police shooting at The Wharf in Southwest D.C. late Saturday.

The department said the person was 23-year-old Lazarus Wilson, a resident of Dumfries, Virginia.

According to D.C. police, around 9:13 p.m. Saturday, two off-duty members of the Metropolitan Police Department were on the 800 block of Wharf St. SW when they fired at Wilson, who was holding a gun.



During a news conference, Chief Robert J. Contee III said the off-duty officers had seen the person pointing a gun just outside a restaurant, calling the person “a very brazen individual.” He didn’t elaborate on where the gun was pointed.

Security footage of a person brandishing a weapon prior to an officer involved shooting on Wharf St. in Southwest, on July 16, 2022. (Courtesy MPD)

Police released a still image from security camera footage they said shows Wilson “brandishing a weapon.”

Police said that, after Wilson refused to comply with officers’ orders to drop his weapon, one of the off-duty officers shot the man. The department has not said if Wilson fired the gun before being shot by officers. It is not clear if the officers identified themselves during their interaction with Wilson.

At the news conference, Contee said the officer “fired after they saw the individual pointing the firearm. I don’t know if he fired first.” He added that he remained unsure about the sequence of events.

Wilson was pronounced dead after being transported to the hospital by first responders.

Another person was grazed by a bullet during the incident and was hospitalized for minor injuries. Police have not shared who fired the bullet that grazed the bystander, but are interviewing that individual as a witness to the shooting.

MPD also released a photo taken at the crime scene of the gun it described as “a semi-automatic handgun.”

Pursuant to department policy, the off-duty officer that shot Wilson was placed on administrative leave. The D.C. Police said agents from the MPD Internal Affairs Bureau are investigating the incident.

“They just happened to be in the area tonight,” Contee said of the off-duty officers. “They were enjoying the evening and, from what we can see, at least from a preliminary review of the videotape, there was an armed individual pointing a gun — we’re not exactly sure who the gun was being pointed at, but pointing a gun — when our officers took action, in this case.”

WTOP has reached out the D.C. police for more information on the incident, including if any shots were fired by Wilson and how many shots were fired.

The person’s firearm was recovered from the scene, described as a semi-automatic handgun. (DC Police via Twitter)

WTOP’s Veronica Canales and Joshua Barlow contributed to this report.

Editor’s Note: This story was edited to reflect new information from the Metropolitan Police Department and updated requests to the department. References to “suspect” were removed from this article pending a formal statement of what crime, if any, Wilson would be a suspect in.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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