FALLS CHURCH, Va. - Police say a man who had just been discharged from a Virginia hospital charged a law enforcement officer with a spiked metal sign-post prior to the officer opening fire and killing him.
The incident happened around 10 p.m. Monday at a bus stop outside of the Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church.
Officials say the suspect, a 29-year-old Hispanic man, had been released from the medical center just before 10 p.m. and was assisted by hospital staff to the bus stop. Shortly after being dropped off, hospital security received calls about a a man armed with a weapon.
When security responded, they found the former patient at the bus stop armed with a spiked metal sign-post. The man struck one of the security officers with the post causing injuries.
A Fairfax County Sheriff's deputy arrived a short time later and attempted to calm the man down, however, police say he charged at the officer while still armed with the sign-post.
The deputy shot the man who was then hospitalized but later died from his injuries. The officer was not harmed.
The officer involved in the shooting is an 18-year veteran of the department. At a press conference, officials called the man’s death a "tragic loss of life." They said they believe the man was experiencing a "mental episode" at the time of the shooting.
Officials say the officer is trained in crisis intervention and tried to de-escalate the situation prior to the shooting. He is on routine administrative leave pending an investigation.