Police in Fairfax County, Virginia, shot and killed a man who they said was suspected of stealing from a store in Tysons Corner Center. Police did not say whether the man was armed.
The investigation into what happened on Wednesday night near Fashion Boulevard in McLean around 7 p.m. is ongoing and will continue into Thursday morning, police Chief Kevin Davis said during a news conference Wednesday evening.
“We need to be afforded significant daylight to affect a crime scene search as we search for evidence. I do not know if our suspect was armed at this time. That’s why we’re going to hold the scene, and we’re going to search for any evidence that the suspect may have discarded during the full chase,” Davis said.
Davis said the alleged theft happened inside the mall. The man ran from police into a small, heavily wooded area, about a quarter mile.
A uniformed officer and a plainclothes officer gave chase, and Davis said police issued commands. At some point during that chase, the two officers discharged their firearms but Davis did not say what caused them to shoot.
Davis said it is not yet known how many times the man, who he described as “well-known to law enforcement” in the D.C. area, was struck. Preliminarily, police said he was struck in the upper body.
That man was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries and was pronounced dead. No officers were hurt, Fairfax County police said.
Davis did not say if the man was armed but said that police were holding the scene until daylight to see if anything was discarded.
The uniformed officer was wearing a body camera, which Davis said would be crucial to understand what happened.
“We know how much scrutiny these officer-involved shootings and the scrutiny that follows these officer-involved shootings, not just here but around the country. And it’s something we take very, very seriously,” Davis said.
Fashion Boulevard was closed between Leesburg Pike and Tysons Place One. Police asked drivers to avoid the area and follow police directions.
Davis said that the mall remains an “absolute safe destination for shoppers, for people going to dinner, or people pursuing entertainment,” echoing what he told the “DMV Download” podcast last December, after a 16-year-old was arrested for gun-related charges and six months after a shooting at the mall, which led to panicked shoppers fleeing and the shopping center closing as police investigated.
“We know how important this location is to many people, and that’s why our public safety commitment here is so robust. We have 16 police officers that are assigned full time to our team here,” Davis said.
Below is the area where it happened.