The Dec. 10 fatal police shooting of a 79-year-old Dumfries man was ruled “justified and reasonable,” by Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Amy Ashworth, according to a statement released Monday.
Ashworth’s office and the Prince William County Police Department provided new details Monday about the shooting, which took place on the evening of Thursday, Dec. 10, in the Four Seasons neighborhood outside Dumfries after police responded to an emergency call from a woman who said her husband was armed and threatening suicide.
Ashworth said in a letter to acting Police Chief Jarad Phelps, released Monday, that body worn camera footage reviewed by the office showed Kurtis Kay Frevert, 79, was armed and fatally shot in front of his home on Secret Cove Court after turning his gun on police officers.
“In this incident, the danger posed by the decedent was real,” Ashworth said. “... It is clear that the officers apprehended imminent bodily harm as the subject raised his gun at the officers while walking towards them and saying, ‘Shoot me.’”
Ashworth noted that in interviews with officers involved in the shooting, “each of the officers expressed that they believed either they, individually, were in danger of being killed or that the other officers present were in danger of being shot or killed.”
“The decedent’s actions in walking toward the officers with his arm raised and a gun in his hand aimed at the officers left the officers no alternative but to use deadly force. Accordingly, I find that the use of deadly force was both justified and reasonable under the circumstances of this tragic encounter,” Ashworth’s statement said.
The police department released a statement Monday outlining the details of their own investigation into the shooting.
1st Sgt. Jonathan Perok said that as officers approached the residence, “they immediately encountered a man on the front porch” and that he was armed. Perok said that officers issued verbal commands to drop the weapon and that, “within seconds, the man pointed the weapon towards officers.”
“At approximately 8:28 p.m., officers reported shots were fired,” Perok said.
In total, five Prince William County police officers fired their Department issued firearms “almost simultaneously” in response to the threat of the firearm being pointed towards them, Perok said.
None of the five officers have been involved in a previous officer-involved shooting, according to the police department. And all officers have been cleared to return to duty. A final review of the incident is going to be conducted by the police department’s Use of Deadly Force Review Board, which will determine if the shooting was within policy and will make any recommendations based on their findings.
“This incident underscores the dangers officers face each day,” Phelps said Monday. “The officers involved were faced with an imminent deadly situation in a matter of seconds. This incident is very tragic for everyone involved and I ask everyone to keep the family and the officers in their thoughts and prayers.”
Ashworth’s office is preparing a full report detailing their findings of the incident, which the office said will be made public when complete.
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