Documents From Fatal Fairfax County Police-Involved Shooting Released - NBC4 Washington

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Documents From Fatal Fairfax County Police-Involved Shooting Released

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    Thousands of pages of documents released in John Geer police shooting case. Jackie Bensen reports. (Published Friday, Jan. 30, 2015)

    A Fairfax County Police officer with hostage negotiation training told investigators he got angry when another officer fatally shot a Springfield, Virginia, man after a domestic disturbance report in August 2013.

    Police released more than 11,000 pages of documents from the shooting of 46-year-old John Geer Friday evening.

    The mother of Geer's two children told responding police there were weapons in the home on Pebble Brook Court Aug. 29, 2013, and police said they stood in the doorway and spoke to Geer for more than 30 minutes.

    The two officers closest to Geer at the time he was shot were Officer Adam Torres, who has been identified as having fired the fatal shot, and another officer, Rodney Barnes, who had some hostage negotiation training and spoke directly to Geer.

    In an interview afterward, Barnes said Geer told them he had a gun and indicated it was on the floor in the house.

    The police documents indicate Barnes said Geer kept his hands on the screen, hands up.

    He said Geer told him, "If I drop my hands, I'm going to get shot."

    Barnes told the investigatorr Geer would periodically ask to scratch his nose.

    He said that at one point, Geer spoke in the direction of Officer Torres, saying, "Can you not point that gun at me?"

    Barnes said he asked Torres to go "ready gun," meaning with his finger off the trigger and pointed at ground.

    After more negotiation, "I heard pow," Barnes said. He described how Geer essentially fell back inside the house.

    Barnes said he looked around and asked who shot, and Officer Torres said,"I did it. I'm sorry. My wrist, oh man, I'm sorry."

    The documents indicate Barnes told investigators, "I was pissed. [Torres] said 'Did you see it?' I said 'no.' I was mad. I didn't see what he saw."

    Officer Torres was later asked to clarify his comments to investigators and told them he felt justified in shooting Geer because Geer made a jerking motion, that looked like he was going for his gun.

    He said the comment about his wrist was because it was stiff from having held the gun tightly for so long.

    He also was asked to clarify a statement he made to Barnes that he had a fight with his wife just before the incident. Investigators asked him if he shot Geer because he was angry. He said no, he shot him because he thought Geer was reaching for a gun.

    Geer's family argues police took 40 minutes to help him after the shooting, during which time they say Geer bled to death.

    Police said Geer did not answer their calls and offers of aid after disappearing into the house, and a SWAT team with a tactical paramedic and rescue vehicle were used to get to Geer, who was dead when they found him. Police also found a loaded, holstered firearm to Geer's left and seven other firearms in the home.

    Geer's father, Don, watched the incident unfold from outside the home and has sought an explanation from police for more than a year.

    The Geer family filed a $12 million lawsuit against Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler and the three police officers involved.

    Torres, an eight-year veteran of the force, remains on administrative leave as the criminal and administrative investigations continue.