WASHINGTON - No charges will be filed against a Metro Transit Police officer in connection to the fatal shooting of a man near the Deanwood Metro station in northeast DC last July. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia announced Monday that there is not enough evidence to pursue charges against the officer in the shooting death of 21-year-old Sidney Washington, Jr. on July 4, 2016.
After a full review, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Metropolitan Police Department determined there is insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights or District of Columbia charges against the officer. They said the review included interviews with witnesses, reviews of photographs, diagrams, physical evidence, recorded radio communications, video surveillance footage, the autopsy report, and reports from the Metropolitan Police Department, Metro Transit Police Department, and District of Columbia Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.
Authorities were called to an area near the Deanwood Metro station amid concerns of rival gangs and possible violence on July 4, 2016. At about 10:30 pm, police say rival gangs started shooting fireworks at each other, and into the Metro station. They were dispersed by Metro Transit Police officers.
Afterwards, investigators say at least one team of two detectives stayed parked in the 4900 block of Quarles Street NE in an unmarked vehicle. They were, however, wearing clothing that said "POLICE" on the front. Those detecitves, authorities say, saw Washington walk into the intersection of 49th Street NW and Quarles Street NW, and he was holding a silver handgun.
The investigation revealed that officers saw Washington shoot toward a large crowd of people about 50 to 75 feet away, and that's when the detective who was in the driver's seat of the unmarked car pulled up next to him and yelled, "Police!" Instead of surrendering, investigators say Washington turned toward the officers and fired at close range, hitting the driver's side door of the unmarked police car at least twice. The detective fired back, hitting Washington once.
Investigators say Washington fell to the ground, landing in a seated position-- but he continued to fire at the detective, when then fired back until Washington fell backwards onto the ground.
Investigators recovered a Colt .45-caliber pistol from near Washington's body, along with nine 45-mm cartridge casings and one 9 mm cartridge casing from the intersection where he was seen firing his weapon.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland determined that Washington died from five gunshot wounds, including two to the chest, one to the upper abdomen, one to the right forearm, and one to the right buttock.
After a full review, federal prosecutors determined the detective who fired the fatal shots acted in self-defense and the defense of others during the shooting.