Descano Declines To Charge Officer in Fatal Shooting

Descano Declines To Charge Officer in Fatal Shooting

Parents assert Commonwealth’s Attorney’s narrative of the police shooting incident is incorrect.

Pat and Kathy Lynch, parents of Jasper Aaron Lynch, right, (1996-2022), released a statement following the decision of Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descann not to charge Officer George in the fatal shooting of Jasper.

Pat and Kathy Lynch, parents of Jasper Aaron Lynch, right, (1996-2022), released a statement following the decision of Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descann not to charge Officer George in the fatal shooting of Jasper.

The source of the following content is from Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Steve T. Descano's Report on July 7, 2022, Officer Involved Shooting.

Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Steve T. Descano reviewed the police shooting incident in McLean on July 7, 2022, and concluded that none of the three officers, all of whom used some degree of force, violated criminal law. Descano, who shared the report online on April 5, declined to charge Officers Pak, Kirsch, or George with a crime. The police shooting incident was that of Jasper Aaron Lynch, 26, who died at the scene. 

A footnote in the report states, "The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office is responsible for determining whether criminal charges are legally appropriate in officer-involved shootings. The report, its inferences, legal standards used, and conclusions are all limited to that question."

Officers responded to Lynch at his family’s McLean home after receiving calls that Lynch was having a mental health issue. FCPD received its first 911 call on July 7 at 6:52 p.m. for what the department described as an "emotionally disturbed person." Later that night, at 8:34 p.m., FCPD received another similar call.

According to the report, Lynch's sister informed the officers that Lynch had instructed her to call 911; she said her brother told her that he “was scared and terrified, and there were people aftr him.” She told the officers that she understood their presence at the scene was a last resort but hoped her brother would cooperate voluntarily. Officer Pak was the first to enter the home's unlocked foyer but only went a few feet into it. Officer Kirsch entered second but did not get as far as Officer Pak and Officer George barely crossed the threshold.

According to the report, body worn camera footage shows the foyer lights turned off, with some illumination from the adjacent room and residual dusk sunlight. The officers make their presence known to Lynch, who appears in the foyer from an adjacent room. Lynch is holding a wine bottle with the base pointed downward in his right hand and a long wooden mask above his shoulder in his left hand. The officers ask, "Can you put that down, Mr. Lynch?" He smashes the mask into the table, producing a "loud thud" and the "sound of glass breaking."

Officers Pak and Kirsch unholster their tasers and Officer George his firearm but do not point them at Lynch. Lynch paces back and forth as officers instruct him to drop what he is holding. They assure Lynch that he "is not in trouble" and remind him that he requested 911 to be called.

Lynch flips the wine bottle, holding it like a club, and flings the mask at the officers. Officer Pak deploys his taser to no avail. Lynch yells something indistinct and lunges at Officers Kirsch and George, repeatedly "chopping the wine bottle like a hatchet." Officer Kirsch deploys his taser, but it has no effect as Lynch lowers his shoulder and sprints toward Officer Kirsch.

Officer George deploys four rounds from his firearm, but they fail to stop Lynch, who slams into Kirsch, "propelling both of them backward nearly into the doorway," according to the report. Lynch ends up on top of Officer Kirsch, and as they struggle, Officer George fires again, striking Kirsch in the neck. The three officers attempt to render aid, but Lynch bites and kicks them. The officers' attempts to render aid continue but are unsuccessful, and Lynch dies on the scene. The officer fired the fatal shots less than 30 seconds after entering the house.

According to repeated video views, Lynch dropped the bottle right before colliding with Kirsch. As the situation unfolded in seconds, Officer George “could reasonably assume,” Descano writes, that Lynch was still controlling the bottle on top of Officer Kirsch. Lynch crashed into Officer Kirsch in the darkest foyer area. Before viewing the body-worn camera videos, none of the three officers said that they were aware Mr. Lynch had dropped the bottle before colliding with Kirsch.

Descano's investigation included reviewing dispatch records, radio communication, FCPD reports, interviews with the officers involved, an independent medical examiner, and an independent use-of-force expert.

"My investigation revealed that all the officers involved in this case acted in an objectively reasonable manner based upon the totality of the circumstances," Descano wrote. He added that when Officer George discharged his firearm for the fifth time, it was objectively reasonable for him to believe Mr. Lynch was still armed with the glass bottle and in a position to bludgeon Officer Kirsch, and Officer Kirsch was in danger of serious injury.

Another footnote in the report states, “Although all three officers were CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) trained, none was assigned to the Co-Responder Unit and therefore none of the officers were accompanied by a CSB (Community Service Board) Crisis Intervention Specialist.” at the time of the shooting. 

To view the body camera footage from the July 7 officer-involved shooting at McLean home, visit

Statement from Pat and Kathy Lynch, parents of Jasper Aaron Lynch

“We are saddened and devastated by the Commonwealth Attorney’s decision not to press charges against Officer George, the police officer who shot and killed our son, Aaron Lynch, on July 7, 2022. We have carefully reviewed the footage from the body cameras and believe the Commonwealth Attorney's description of important parts of how this tragedy unfolded is incorrect. We cannot fathom how Aaron’s shooting could in any way be viewed as anything but unjustified and an excessive use of force. Aaron was on the ground after being tackled by another officer and was completely unarmed when Officer George fired the lethal final bullet in Aaron’s neck. This came after Officer George had fired at Aaron four times. Why was it necessary to shoot again?

“The long period of time the Commonwealth Attorney took to make this decision has only increased the pain and uncertainty for our family. We are deeply disappointed and mystified as to why it took more than 18 months. The facts all point in the other direction of this report’s findings. Our son was experiencing a severe mental health crisis that day. He was scared and had asked for us to call 911. We believe that the three police officers who answered the call could have handled this far differently. To respond to Aaron’s mental health crisis by shooting him at all, let alone five times, cannot be justified. How could our son, who was about 5’ 6”, slightly built, holding a bottle and a decorative mask be of a serious threat to three officers?

“This is an injustice that no family should have to endure. We will continue to press for accountability from the FCPD and Fairfax County, both for Aaron and our family and in the hope that this will help prevent such tragic outcomes for other families in the future.”