New Fairfax County commonwealth’s attorney ‘working tirelessly’ to investigate Bijan Ghaisar’s killing

FILE — Steve Descano, then the commonwealth’s attorney-elect of Fairfax County, Virginia, speaks at an event at the Center for American Progress about Virginia’s newly elected progressive prosecutors on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. (Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

More than two years after Bijan Ghaisar was shot and killed by U.S. Park Police officers, Fairfax County, Virginia’s new commonwealth’s attorney said that his office is investigating the case.

Just weeks into his term, Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano released a statement saying his office will investigate Ghaisar’s killing following a meeting with the Ghaisar family.

“We’ve been working tirelessly to comb through evidence and work towards a final determination on how to proceed,” Descano said in a statement.

Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice decided that it would not pursue federal charges against two Park Police officers who fatally shot Ghaisar during a 2017 traffic stop, and that they are closing the case.


More on the Bijan Ghaisar case


After the Justice Department’s decision, Descano’s predecessor, Ray Morrogh, tried to present the case to a grand jury before his tenure ended, but was not able to.

Bijan Ghaisar, 25, of McLean, Virginia. (Courtesy Ghaisar family)

“To the countless citizens, advocates, community leaders and elected officials that have reached out on the importance of this case — your message has been heard,” Descano said. “That’s why I’ve dedicated the resources necessary to finding where this evidence will lead us and determining the right course of action.”

Ghaisar family lawyer Roy L. Austin said in a statement that Descano invited the family to meet with him.

“Importantly and unlike past experience, Mr. Descano made it clear that he would keep us regularly informed, and he would make sure to contact the family about any significant developments to ensure that they would not first learn what is happening from the media,” Austin said.

Ghaisar, a 25-year-old accountant from McLean, Virginia, was shot by two Park Police officers on Nov. 17, 2017, in the Fort Hunt area of Fairfax County.

The shooting followed a police chase on the George Washington Parkway, during which the officers repeatedly tried to pull Ghaisar over without success.

After a third stop, the officers approached Ghaisar’s Jeep and then fired multiple shots as his vehicle moved forward.

Ghaisar, who was unarmed, was shot four times in the head and once in his right wrist, according to his family. He died in a hospital 10 days later.

WTOP’s Abigail Constantino contributed to this report. 

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