Police released fire and ended up in the hot seat.
Bodycam video footage revealed the fatal incident involving 37-year-old Timothy Johnson and the Virginia officer who responded to the reported theft at Tysons Corner Center mall on Feb. 22.
According to NBC News, after reviewing the footage, a police spokesperson said Sgt. Wesley Shifflett, who fired the shot that killed Johnson, has been served with an “administrative separation” for “failure to live up to” the expectations of his department.
Last month, Fairfax County police were called to an alleged shoplifting incident in Nordstrom, where a suspect stole sunglasses. The mall’s loss prevention officers guided officer James Sadler and Sgt. Shifflett to Johnson, when he reportedly fled, leading the officers to chase him out of the mall and into a small wooded area nearby. The footage shows that one officer wasn’t dressed in uniform and wore ordinary clothing during the encounter.
The bodycam footage shows an officer demanding Johnson to “stop reaching” and “get on the ground.” Chief Kevin Davis said something happened, causing the officers to release fire. The sound of the shots was picked up in the audio, where one officer shot twice and the other shot once. Johnson died at the hospital after being shot in the chest once.
“It doesn’t show the officer faced any danger, imminent or otherwise,” Carl Crews, the attorney for the Johnson family said at a news conference after viewing the footage with the family on Wednesday night. “Justice delayed is justice denied. Crews added that this officer should not have his freedom at this point, describing Johnson’s death as an “execution.”
Reportedly, criminal and administrative investigations are still active. The reason for the officers firing their weapons remains unknown.
Sadler has been employed with the Fairfax County Police Department for eight years, while Shifflett served with the department for seven.