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Police identify suspect shot and killed by officers at Springfield Target parking lot

Christian Parker, 37, of Reston, was wanted on firearms charges, including discharging a gun within a home. The officers involved are on restricted duty.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Officers involved in the fatal shooting of a known suspect who was said to have pulled a gun on them are on restricted duty as per Fairfax County policy, the department stated Friday. 

Police continue to investigate a fatal shooting between officers and the wanted man - identified as Christian Parker, 37, of Reston - in a Target parking lot at the Springfield Town Center Thursday afternoon. 

Parker was wanted for possession of a firearm by a felon, larceny of a firearm, brandishing a firearm and discharging a firearm within a home.

According to a Tweet from Fairfax County Police, the shooting happened when officers tried to stop a "wanted man." Parker was taken to a nearby hospital where he died from his injuries, according to officers. 

In a news conference Thursday evening, Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said three officers were involved in the attempted stop and two of the three officers opened fire on the Parker after repeated attempts to get him to drop his gun failed.

Fairfax County Deputy Chief Brian Riley said he reviewed body-worn cameras and said the three officers involved told the Parker to drop his weapon at least 20 times. 

“[Officers] told the gunman at least 20 times to drop his gun," explained Riley. "He didn’t. I don’t know why he didn’t. 

Credit: Fairfax County Police
Christian Parker, 37, of Reston was shot and killed by police during an incident on June 30, in which police say he pulled out a gun while officers were trying to detain him.

On Friday, police also said detectives coordinated with the Summer Crime Initiative team to help find Parker. This seasonal team of officers focuses on suppressing crime during the summer months.

The two officers involved in the shooting have been identified as an eight-year veteran of the Franconia Police District Station and a two-year veteran of the Mount Vernon Police District Station. Both officers were assigned to the Summer Crime Initiative Team.

Per department policy, the officers have been placed on restricted duty pending the outcome of an administrative investigation by the department's Internal Affairs Bureau. An independent review will also be conducted by the Police Auditor.

The name of the officers will be released within 10 days, unless there is a credible threat to the safety of those involved or if additional time is required to thoroughly complete the risk assessment process, according to Fairfax County Police. 

Davis said Parker was wanted after he allegedly stole a gun from a family member and fired the weapon at his family's home before running away Sunday night. 

Police say they knew Parker would be in the area. Three officers approached the man as he was sitting in his car in the parking lot. One of the three officers claimed the man had a gun and warned the other two. 

Deputy Chief Brian Riley with Fairfax County Police said at the same press conference that he reviewed body-worn cameras and claims the three officers told the man to drop his weapon at least 20 times. 

“[Officers] told the gunman at least 20 times to drop his gun," explained Riley. "He didn’t. I don’t know why he didn’t.”

Credit: Fairfax County Police

Davis reports two of the three officers opened fire on the man after repeated attempts to get him to drop his gun failed.

After the shooting, police say the unidentified officers pulled the man from the car to help him. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital. 

Police confirmed no officers were injured and said there is no threat to the public.

The popular Northern Virginia mall remained opened during the incident. Multiple people inside and nearby the property said they saw the aftermath of the shooting.

Springfield resident Michael Tilahun lives nearby Springfield Town Center and said he heard a loud noise as the shooting occurred.

“You never think it’s going to happen near where you live,” he said.

Matthias Girum was in the gym, inside the mall, at the time of the shooting. He said he could hear people yelling in the area.

“A couple of cops were in there saying we have to evacuate,” he said.

The shooting comes two weeks after D.C. resident, Noah Settles, allegedly fired a gun inside Tyson’s Corner mall, which is also in Fairfax County.

“Like every other jurisdiction in the National Capital Region, we remain concerned about the prevalence of firearms in our community,” Davis said. “And, they're in the hands of folks who shouldn't have.”

Reilly said the department is still trying to determine if the gun the suspect allegedly had in Springfield is the same gun the suspect allegedly discharged on Sunday elsewhere in Fairfax County.



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