Family’s lawsuit IDs Park Police officers who shot unarmed Va. driver

Over a year after an unarmed Virginia man was fatally shot by U.S. Park Police during a traffic stop in November 2017, the names of the officers who shot him have been released.

Lucas Vinyard and Alejandro Amaya are identified as those officers in a lawsuit filed by the family of Bijan Ghaisar. The 25-year-old accountant from McLean was unarmed when he was shot multiple times after police tried to pull him over. The FBI is investigating the shooting.

“After almost 500 days of the [Justice Department] and the U.S. Park Police fiercely protecting the privacy of these men so they could live their lives without public account and scrub their pasts, we now know their names,” the Ghaisar family said in a statement.

Their names were revealed in documents turned over as part of the discovery process in the family’s amended suit. In response to a subpoena, Fairfax County police documents identified Amaya and Vinyard as the involved officers.

Fairfax County police were involved in the chase, but officers did not fire shots.

Park Police counsel confirmed Amaya and Vinyard were the shooters on March 12.

Ghaisar was stopped by police after his Jeep was rear-ended. He stopped his car twice and drove away twice as Park Police tried to pull him over on the George Washington Parkway.

After the third stop in the Fort Hunt area of Fairfax County, Ghaisar was shot nine times by the police officers, according to the family’s lawsuit. He was unarmed.

Footage of the shooting was released by Fairfax County police.

The Ghaisar family originally filed a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit against the U.S. government in federal court in Virginia. In the amended lawsuit, Amaya and Vinyard are named as defendants.

“We have no comment,” said Andrew Ames, public affairs supervisor for the FBI’s Washington Field Office, when asked about the officers’ names being released.

The release of the names was first reported by the Washington Post.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein contributed to this report.

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