FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Two weeks after two police officers shot and killed a man in Fairfax County after another officer was "violently attacked" inside of his own police car, Fairfax County Police are releasing body camera footage of what Chief Kevin Davis called "quite a dramatic scene."
They also released the names of the two FCPD officers who fired their guns, Officer Christopher Grubb and Officer Kenyatta Momon.
The deadly altercation occurred in the 6300 block of Richmond Highway, which is in the Alexandria portion of Fairfax County on Thursday, May 11.
According to Davis, an officer noticed a U-Haul that was reported stolen out of Richmond, Virginia after the U-Haul passed a license plate reader. The man driving the stolen U-Haul pulled into a gas station parking lot and walked away.
The officer, who has not been publicly identified, gets out of his cruiser and is standing in front of the open driver-side door of his police car when he made contact with the man. Police identified the man as 38-year-old Brandon Lemagne.
The police department explained the officer told Lemange he was going to be detained for driving the stolen U-Haul. That's when Davis said Lemagne started "violently attacking" the officer.
That officer managed to call out for help on his police radio, stating that the suspect had taken his gun from him.
At some point, the police vehicle was put into reverse, and it sped backward out of control out of that parking lot, down a street, and into the parking lot of a nearby McDonald's, where it crashed into a parked car – all while the attack continued inside of the vehicle.
The body camera video shows the whole thing unfold between three body camera angles of the assaulted officer and the two other officers who respond to his calls for help.
"It's happening quickly, it's happening violently, and it's happening all at once," Davis explained.
The officer approaches Lemagne and tells him the vehicle had been reported stolen. Lemagne asks, "What's reported stolen? What did I do" and then suddenly starts reaching for the officer's gun.
During the struggle, the officer repeatedly yells, "Get off my gun! Get off my gun!" He also radios for help. Lemagne eventually gets behind the wheel of the officer's cruiser and puts it in reverse, slamming on the gas pedal and driving it away from the gas station.
The two other officers respond to the scene and are seen opening fire.
Davis says Officer Grubb opened fire on Lemagne. A second officer, Officer Momon, who Davis called a hero, charged toward the crashed police vehicle believing the officer inside had been shot.
That officer reached into the police car and pulled Lemagne off of the officer who was being attacked. The officer, a 24-year veteran, pulled out their firearm and shot the suspect. Lemagne died at the scene.
The officers are seen on camera checking the officer who was attacked for gunshot wounds. The attacked police officer told officers he didn't know if he had been shot. The officer was not shot.
"In my opinion his intent was to kill that police officer," said Chief Davis.
Following the release of the body camera footage, Chief Davis called the situation a "once-in-a-generation happening" for any police department.
"He was literally assaulted, abducted and taken hostage in his own police car," Davis said. "This is egregious. This is not the norm."
Davis pointed to the type of holster the officers wear as a reason the officer survived the incident. They are called double retention holsters. The holster kept the gun in the holster.
"I firmly believe that if [Lemagne] was able to wrench that gun free from the officer, he would have killed him," Davis said.
But some, have called in to question, the last three shots that were fired at Lemagne.
"Listen, this is wild," said Kenneth Corey. The now retired NYPD Chief weighed in on the video just hours after the release.
"I don't think that in 34 years of policing I've ever seen an officer pulled into his own patrol car, literally by his holster, and then take off with a suspect on top of him," said Corey.
WUSA9 asked him his reaction to the final three gunshots that were fired.
"I mean listen that is really disturbing to watch and I think it's gonna be really disturbing for anybody to watch. I don't know why the officer does that. I know why he pulls them out of the car, obviously the other officer's underneath him and he's trying to render aid," he said.
Corey explained that it brings a lot of questions. "Those last three shots that are fired. I don't know why those shots got fired and I also can't see what the office or sees so I can't tell. I watched it several times and I can't tell if there was something in that individuals hands at that moment or something that prompts the officer to fire, but it is really troubling to me and really disturbing to see that".
He added that "people are gonna question the necessity of those last three shots and they may end up being completely justifiable. Like I said there's information that's not being provided here, but on the surface, I think there needs to be a little more transparency and some explanation.
Davis said there are still questions they need answers to, and the investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
The two officers who fired on Lemagne have been placed on restricted duty status pending the outcome of the investigation. He said the investigation will look at all of the actions, behaviors and decisions made by the officers.
When asked if the shooting was justified. Davis responded "I believe the actions of the two responding officers were more than appropriate given what we know then and now".
"These officers ran toward gunfire and their only intent was the save a police officer who was screaming for help," Davis said.
The full body cam video footage released can be viewed below.
Graphic Warning: Footage may be disturbing to watch. Viewer discretion advised.
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