FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — The Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney promised an independent review Friday of the police shooting of a man who attacked and beat a Fairfax County Police officer.
The attack on the officer and then the crash into a parked car at the McDonald's on Richmond Highway was captured on video.
Police have identified the man who was shot and killed by one or two other officers as Brandon Lemagne, 38, of Newport News.
WUSA9 has learned more about Lemagne. Police say he had a lengthy criminal history with numerous prior arrests, felony convictions and open warrants for his arrest.
According to the York County Sheriff's Office, he assaulted a deputy in 2015, who was attempting to arrest him on credit card fraud charges.
Investigators say he had stolen a U-Haul on May 3rd, from Richmond. Police sources told WUSA9 they found what appeared to be luggage and personal belongings inside the U-Haul. They're still determining all of the contents, as well as who the stuff belongs to.
The police chief says the officer was literally fighting for his life and screaming into the radio that his attacker had his gun. But police and prosecutors are going frame by frame through the three shots fired by another veteran officer after he pulled Lemagne out of the car.
The terrifying video captured by someone in the gas station and shared by Killmoenetwork on Twitter, shows Lemagne, according to police, attacking the officer, dragging him into his marked car and punching him in the face.
Eighteen seconds in, the police SUV starts backing up and then crashes into some bushes and a car parked at the Mcdonald's.
The officer radioed that his attacker had his gun.
“10-4, copy. He’s got your gun,” a dispatcher responds, as other officers frantically call in for his location.
Thirty seconds into the tape, the first of multiple gunshots. Police say an officer who had arrived on scene and was outside the car fired at the suspect, who was still on top of his victim and inside his patrol vehicle.
Forty-nine seconds in, a 24-year veteran of the force, an officer approaches the cruiser, pulls open the door and drags the attacker off the officer. Then, while he’s on the ground, the officer who had pulled him out fires three more shots at Lemagne.
"He executed that [N-word]," someone shooting the video says on the tape.
What exactly happened in those moments is still unclear.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano tells WUSA9 he’s already started reviewing the officers’ body camera video.
“[M]y team is undertaking an independent and thorough review. I can assure the community that I will come to an independent decision in this matter,” he wrote.
But the police chief is calling the officer a hero for storming in to save his comrade.
"He pulls the assailant literally off our police officer. And then that Fairfax County Police officer discharges his firearm, striking the assailant, who is pronounced dead on the scene," said Police Chief Kevin Davis Thursday.
The officer who was attacked was beaten badly but later released from the hospital.
Police say neither the officer nor his attacker ever got his gun out of his holster. It was pulled up and around his waist, but still locked in.
Police are required to release the names of the officers who fired within ten days and the body-worn camera footage within 30.
But this case is so high profile, officials say they’re likely to release the video much sooner than that.