Va. Sen. Mark Warner ‘bitterly disappointed’ by lack of answers from Park Police in Bijan Ghaisar shooting

As the three-year anniversary of the shooting death of motorist Bijan Ghaisar by U.S. Park Police approaches, Virginia’s senior senator is growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of answers.

“I have been bitterly disappointed by the Park Police’s response,” U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said.

Warner said he feels like he’s being stonewalled by the U.S. Park Police. Other members of Congress have levied similar accusations at the agency.

Even though he was recently briefed by the National Park Service and Fairfax County, Warner said he still doesn’t understand why Ghaisar was shot to death.

In 2017, two Park Police officers shot and killed the 25-year-old Ghaisar in the Fort Hunt neighborhood of Fairfax County. They fired 10 shots into his Jeep in an apparent investigation of a fender bender in Alexandria.

Ghaisar was an accountant who lived in Northern Virginia and had no criminal record.

An investigation revealed he was shot as he drove his Jeep away from Officers Alejandro Amaya and Lucas Vinyard on Nov. 17, 2017.

Ghaisar was not armed and did not appear to say anything to the officers. He apparently stopped his car twice, and then pulled away as the officers ran at him with guns drawn.

The FBI investigated and declined to charge the officers involved, but Warner said when the agency wanted to release more information on the incident, it was prevented from doing so.

“There were public indications that the FBI wanted to testify in front of the grand jury and were restrained, that raises a large number of questions,” Warner said.

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano is still investigating Ghaisar’s death.

Warner said he and others have been asking questions for more than 18 months, but there have been few answers.

“The Park Police’s stonewalling of Congressional leadership — I find it bitterly disappointing,” he said. “We owe Bijan’s family the kind of basic answers of what happened to their son that night.”

The two officers involved have not spoken publicly about the case and have been on paid administrative leave since April 2019.

Kyle Cooper

Anchor and reporter Kyle Cooper, has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana, and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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