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Police kill wanted man outside Virginia shopping mall

Posted at 2:56 PM, Jul 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 14:56:07-04

SPRINGFIELD, Va. (AP) — A man wanted by police in northern Virginia has died after an officer shot him outside of a shopping mall, authorities said Thursday.

Fairfax County Police said on Twitter on Thursday evening that the suspect died at the hospital.

No police officers were hurt, according to 2nd Lt. James Curry, a police spokesman.

The preliminary investigation shows officers were trying to stop a wanted suspect outside Springfield Town Center when the confrontation occurred.

"At approximately 4:30 p.m. yesterday, officers were attempting to locate Christian Parker, 37, of Reston, who was wanted for possession of a firearm by a felon, larceny of a firearm, brandishing a firearm and discharging a firearm within a home," a Fairfax Police spokesperson wrote. "Detectives from our Fugitive Track and Apprehension Unit learned Parker was in the area of the Springfield Town Center."

Police found Parker in a parking lot, the spokesperson said.

"Parker entered his vehicle as officers approached. Three officers gave Parker several commands to show his hands," the spokesperson continued. "Preliminarily, it appeared Parker reached across the passenger seat and retrieved a firearm. At least one of the officers observed a firearm in Parker’s hands and alerted other officers. The officers gave multiple commands to Parker to drop the firearm. Parker disregarded these repeated commands, and two officers discharged their firearms. Officers then broke the window to Parker’s vehicle and entered the locked car. Officers rendered aid until Fire and Rescue personnel arrived. Parker was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died."

Fairfax shooting.jpg
Fairfax Police Chief Davis updates the community on a shooting at Springfield Mall in Springfield.

The officers who shot Parker have been placed on restricted duty pending the outcome of an administrative investigation by our Internal Affairs Bureau, per department policy.

"Parker was wanted after an incident on Sunday at his home in the 2000 block of Royal Fern Court in the Reston Police District. A family member reported Parker stole a firearm from the home and pointed the weapon at a relative," the police spokesperson wrote. "Parker then discharged the firearm inside the home. The incident was reported more than 10 hours after it occurred. No one was injured at the time of the reckless discharge."

Fairfax Police said it would "release body camera footage and audio recordings within 30 days or when it no longer jeopardizes the integrity of the investigation."

The mall remained open although shoppers were directed to a specific exit, police said, adding that an investigation into the shooting was underway.

Thursday's shooting comes less than two weeks after a shooting at another Tysons Corner Center, also in Fairfax County. No one was injured by bullets in that shooting, but three people were hurt while fleeing the mall.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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