Police in Fairfax County, Virginia, have identified the man they said attacked an officer inside a cruiser before being shot by responding officers as 38-year-old Newport News resident Brandon Lemagne.
The struggle began just after 4 p.m. Thursday, when an officer was alerted to a U-Haul — that was reportedly stolen out of Richmond on May 3 — that had been spotted by a license plate reader in the Huntington area. Police said Lemagne was driving the U-Haul, pulled into a Citgo gas station in the 6200 block of Richmond Highway, and got out of the vehicle.
The responding officer approached Lemagne, began speaking to him, then the pair started walking toward the officer’s cruiser, according to police. When the officer told Lemagne he was going to be detained for driving the stolen U-Haul, Lemagne started attacking the officer, police said.
“He immediately grabbed the officer’s firearm and tried to remove it from the holster. Lemagne held onto the officer’s holstered firearm, assaulted the officer by striking him in the head and pulled him across the parking lot in an attempt to disarm him,” Fairfax County police said in a news release.
Then, according to the release, he opened the door of the police cruiser and forced the officer into the vehicle. The cruiser was then placed into gear and reversed into the McDonald’s parking lot next door, crashing into two other vehicles and hitting part of the restaurant before coming to a stop.
As the cruiser was spinning out of the Citgo parking lot, police said the officer radioed for help and told dispatch Lemagne had his firearm.
He continued assaulting the officer inside the cruiser as two other police officers showed up, according to police. One of those officers started shooting at the cruiser, while another approached the vehicle and pulled Lemagne out of it, police said.
Once that responding officer removed the 38-year-old from the cruiser, he shot him and Lemagne was pronounced dead at the scene.
Much of the incident was captured on video posted to Twitter by Killmoenetwork.
According to the news release, the duty belt of the officer who police said was attacked remained on the officer during the alleged assault and the firearm remained holstered. Police said “the holstered firearm was pulled from his hip to the front of the officer’s waistband.”
That officer was taken to a hospital and treated for injuries and has since been released.
The two officers who shot their service weapons have been identified as a 24-year veteran and an eight-year veteran of the force. Both have been placed on restricted duty status, pending the outcome of the criminal and administrative investigation, police said.
The names of the officers will be released within 10 days and body-worn camera footage of the incident will be released within 30 days, in accordance with Fairfax County Police guidelines.
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