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2 U.S. Park Police officers surrender to authorities, charged in Bijan Ghaisar's death

Ghaisar died after being shot multiple times by Park Police officers Lucas Vinyard and Alejandro Amaya on Nov. 17, 2017.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Two U.S. Park Police officers who were charged in the shooting death of Bijan Ghaisar have surrendered to police in Fairfax County Monday morning, according to Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Chief of Staff.

Both Alejandro Amaya and Lucas Vinyard were to be arraigned around 10 a.m. Following the arraignment, the officers were released on bond. The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office called for conditions on their release as they await trial. A status hearing date for both officers has been set for Nov. 23.

Last week, the two officers were charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless handling of a firearm.

The unarmed Ghaisar died after being shot multiple times by the two Park Police officers on Nov. 17, 2017. Vinyard and Amaya face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the charges.

“Our heavy hearts are a little lighter tonight knowing that the police officers who murdered our son and brother are closer to being held accountable for what they did," the Ghaisar family said in a statement. "Too many of the people who are sworn to protect and serve our communities commit heinous acts of violence and go unpunished. With these charges, we are reminded that, at least here in Fairfax County, Officers Alejandro Amaya and Lucas Vinyard are not above the law."

During the Oct. 15 press conference announcing the indictment, Descano said he had spoken to the Ghaisar family prior to the conference. 

"I'll tell them now what I told them before," Descano said. "It has been a long road, but be confident that my office is fighting ... for justice for your son and we are in this fight for the long haul."

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Officials said Ghaisar had gotten into a fender-bender on the George Washington Parkway in Alexandria the night of Nov. 17, 2017. They said he was not at fault for the accident, but he left the scene.

Police said the two U.S. Park Police officers followed Ghaisar and pulled him over. Video released by the Fairfax County Police Department shows that Ghaisar took off and stopped two more times before the officers fired nine shots into his car.

The DOJ said those shots ended up killing him.

Police said Ghaisar was unarmed and had no drugs in his car.

Both Amaya and Vinyard have claimed self-defense in response to the family's wrongful death lawsuit.

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