Police Shoot Homeless Man

Police Shoot Homeless Man

Incident is under investigation.

— James Bryant, 28, of no fixed address was shot and killed by Fairfax County Police during a fight at the Lorton Homeless Shelter on Oct. 30.

According to the police, Bryant assaulted several shelter residents and then assaulted the responding police officers. Bryant took the police baton from one officer and assaulted him and proceeded to also assault the other officer. According to the police, the officers “employed multiple levels of non-deadly force to try and end the assault. These attempts to control Bryant failed to stop his violent actions. The victim officer, previously struck by the baton, discharged his service weapon to stop an additional assault by Bryant.”

Bryant was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries. In addition to Bryant, the assaulted police officers were taken to the hospital for medical care of non life-threatening injuries. In addition, three victims from the original fight were also taken to local hospitals for non life-threatening injuries.

A Police Department spokesman would not elaborate on the police accounts of the incident. The department placed the two officers involved in the incident on routine administrative leave pending the completion of a criminal investigation and an internal investigation. The police spokesman would not answer any questions on the matter including what kind of non-lethal force was attempted before the victim was shot and killed. The spokesman referred to the police general orders (540.1) on the definition of use of non-lethal force. He said that non-lethal force could be any one or combination of the following types of non-lethal force: Pepper spray (Oleoresin capsicum); baton; Taser gun, and Pepper ball system.

In addition, an attempt to seek comment from Mount Vernon Supervisor Gerald Hyland, who is also chair of the Board’s Public Safety Committee, was unsuccessful.