WASHINGTON — Fairfax County police have released video showing the fatal shooting of a man who attacked a hospital security guard with a long metal post in August.
The video’s release on Tuesday comes several days after Fairfax County’s prosecutor cleared Master Deputy Sheriff Patrick McPartlin of any criminal wrongdoing in the August shooting of Yovani Amaya Gomez. Gomez, 29, who was a native of Honduras, was shot and killed outside Inova Fairfax Hospital on Aug. 15.
In the video, Gomez is seen attacking a hospital security guard with the metal rod. He runs after the guard, who tries to retreat from the blows. Soon McPartlin, who was on-duty at the hospital, arrives.
McPartlin approaches Gomez, who charges toward the deputy with the rod raised. Although obscured by a bus hut, McPartlin pulls out a gun and shoots Gomez, who can been seen rolling on the ground.
Captain David Smith, with the Fairfax County Police Department which investigated the shooting, said that in the video it was clear that the McPartlin needed to make a snap decision.
Smith said the rod Gomez was holding was “bladed, had already injured the security guard. And that can be a deadly weapon you can kill someone with. There was no time for the deputy to do anything but protect himself and the community members that we represent.”
In his report, Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Morrogh ruled the McPartlin acted in self-defense. The report said that McPartlin thought Gomez was holding what appeared to be a sword. Security guards told investigators that McPartlin tried to talk Gomez down, ordering him to drop the rod.
The investigation determined that McPartlin shot four times: Three bullets hit Gomez in the torso and a fourth grazed his arm.
Police had taken Gomez, who was initially identified as Jovany Martinez, to the hospital for a mental health check earlier in the day. He had been cleared and released.
McPartlin is an 18-year-veteran of the county’s sheriff’s office, a separate agency from the county police department, and was assigned to the confinement division. The sheriff’s office still plans to conduct its own internal investigation.
Watched a condensed version of the shooting below:
WTOP’s Amanda Iacone contributed to this report.