Fairfax police reports: Va. man fatally shot by US Park Police was unarmed

WASHINGTON — A Virginia accountant fatally shot by U.S. Park Police last year was unarmed, according to reports filed by Fairfax County police officers who witnessed the shooting.

The reports confirm what 25-year-old Bijan Ghaisar’s family has long said — that he was not armed when he was shot nine times by two U.S. Park Police officers following a chase up the George Washington Parkway last November.

The reports said Ghaisars did not have a weapon “in plain view or reach of the driver.”

Fairfax County police confirmed to the WTOP the details of the reports, which were first obtained by The Washington Post via a Freedom of Information Act request.

Bijan Ghaisar (Courtesy Ghaisar family)

Three Fairfax officers witnessed the shooting while assisting Park Police officers who were pursuing Ghaisar after he was rear-ended by another car and then reportedly drove away.

The reports said after pointing guns at Ghaisar when he pulled over twice during the pursuit, Park Police officers shot him when he tried to pull away during the third stop.

According to the reports, Park Police officers had to smash Ghaisar’s front window to free him from his Jeep Grand Cherokee, which had tumbled partway down a ravine after they shot him.

This marks the second time Fairfax County police have released information about the case. In January, Police Chief Ed Roessler released dashcam video from one of his officer’s cruisers that depicts Park Police officers firing nine shots at Ghaisar’s SUV. Roessler cited the need for transparency in releasing the video.

The FBI, which took over the investigation from the Park Police, has declined to release any details of the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation.

The Park Police refused to publicly identify the officers who shot Ghaisar.

In August, Ghaisar’s family filed a $25 million wrongful-death lawsuit against the U.S. demanding the release of the officers’ names and the 911 call from the night Ghaisar was shot.

WTOP’s Jack Moore contributed to this report. 

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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