WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - For the first time, the public is hearing from the U.S. Park Police officers who shot and killed Bijan Ghaisar in November 2017, which remains under investigation 19 months later.
The words from officers Alejandro Amaya and Lucas Vinyard come in response to a civil suit filed by the family and are responses that have Virginia Sen. Mark Warner upset.
"What this says to me is the FBI needs to finish its investigation. This family has waited a year and a half. Members of Congress have repeatedly asked the FBI for information. We have been stonewalled and, candidly, it is pretty outrageous the FBI's behavior in this," Warner told FOX 5. "To say I am frustrated would be a gross understatement in terms of the FBI's behavior."
In his response to the civil suit filed by the family, Vinyard, through his attorney, wrote, "If Mr. Ghaisar was injured and/or damaged as alleged in the complaint, such injuries were the result of his own intentional, illegal and/or otherwise wrongful conduct."
The response also says Vinyard acted under the "reasonable belief that his actions were lawful under the circumstances" and that he "acted in self-defense and defense of others."
Amaya has stated that he acted in self-defense.
But the attorneys for the family have repeatedly said the dashcam video speaks for itself and clearly shows Ghaisar posed no threat to the officers.
The Park police officers violated their own pursuit and use of force policies and a report written by Fairfax County officers at the scene said no weapons were found inside Ghaisar's vehicle.
Ghaisar was pursued by the officers that night after the 25-year-old McLean accountant left the scene of an accident.
Last year, FOX 5 attempted to get an explanation for the shooting from U.S. Park Police Chief Rob MacLean, but he just turned and walked away saying "it was not the time."
Warner says he has received no explanation from the FBI.
"We have had letters punted on. We have had letters only half-way responded to. This incident took place virtually a year and a half ago. The family has been kept totally in the dark. This is not how our American justice system ought to work," Warner said.
Virginia State Senator Scott Surovell was also displeased with Vinyard's claim of self-defense.
"The idea that the police officers had to act in self-defense in that situation is completely insane. They were standing to the side of the car and the car was locked. It was barely moving and not moving in any direction close to the officers. Cars don't move sideways they shot him four times in the head. The idea that was self-defense is completely preposterous," Surovell said.
To date, there has been no explanation from anyone as to why this investigation has dragged on for as long as it has.