An alleged attempt to shoplift a pair of designer sunglasses from Tysons Corner Center’s Nordstrom ended in a fatal police shooting on Wednesday (Feb. 22).
The man shot and killed by two police officers near a mall parking lot that evening was D.C. resident Timothy McCree Johnson, the Fairfax County Police Department reported yesterday (Thursday). He was 37 years old.
According to the department, officers in its Tysons Urban Team went to Nordstrom around 6:30 p.m. after getting a report of a theft.
“Asset protection reported a man was concealing designer sunglasses,” the FCPD said. “An officer observed the man exiting the store near a parking garage. As he exited the store, an anti-theft alarm was activated as he fled.”
As Police Chief Kevin Davis indicated in an initial briefing that night, two officers chased Johnson through the garage, across a parking lot and into a wooded area, where they both fired their guns and hit him once in the chest.
Johnson was transported to a hospital, where he died.
The FCPD says the officers “gave [Johnson verbal] commands to get on the ground.” The officers were both assigned to the Tysons Urban Team, one as a uniformed officer and the other in plainclothes.
One of the officers has been with the department for seven years and the other for eight, according to the FCPD, which says their names will be released within 10 days.
“As per department policy, the officers have been placed on restricted duty status, pending the outcome of the criminal and administrative investigation,” police said.
Criminal and administrative investigations into the use of force are underway. Davis said on Wednesday that police were searching the scene for potential evidence, including any weapon that may have been discarded, but the press release doesn’t indicate whether anything was found.
Davis said the man shot by police was “well known” to local law enforcement in the D.C. region and had “a violent criminal history.”
However, Johnson’s mother has disputed that characterization, telling the Washington Post that he “was trying to get on the right track” after landing in custody for a parole violation. She described him as a father of two, “a loving person” and an artist who planned to go to barber school.
Melissa Johnson told the Post that she believes her son was unarmed when police shot him.
There are no cases involving a Timothy McCree Johnson in Fairfax County General District Court records.
A search of D.C. courts turns up a record for a 2017 civil wrongful death lawsuit involving a defendant with the same name. Stemming from a fatal vehicle crash, the complaint was dismissed after two months.
A federal district court in D.C. also convicted a Timothy McCrae Walker — who was apparently also known as Timothy McCree Johnson — in 2006 on felony gun charges.
The FCPD didn’t immediately respond to FFXnow’s comment request seeking to confirm whether Johnson was the person in those cases.
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