Alexandria Police-Involved Shooting of Ex-Marine Deemed Justified

Deceased had gun in possession

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    NBCWashington.com

    The fatal shooting of a former Marine by Alexandria police was justified, the Alexandria Commonwealth's Attorney determined. 

    That means that seven Alexandria police officers will not face charges in the shooting. An internal police department investigation into the shooting will now occur.

    On February 18, 2013, 30-year-old Taft Sellers, a former Marine, was visiting his grandmother at her apartment in the 3400 block of Duke Street when he got into an argument with his sister. Sellers' sister called police and informed them that he had a gun but had not threatened to use it. 

    The responding officer tried to talk to Sellers, repeatedly asking him to show his hands, authorities said.

    Alexandria Police-Involved Shooting of Ex-Marine Deemed Justified

    [DC] Alexandria Police-Involved Shooting of Ex-Marine Deemed Justified
    The fatal shooting of a former Marine by Alexandria police was justified, the Alexandria Commonwealth's Attorney determined. News4's Northern Virginia bureau reporter David Culver has the story.

    S. Randolph Sengel, the Commonwealth's Attorney for Alexandria, said Sellers was shot when he pointed his gun at the officers.

    Out of the 37 shots fired, Sellers was struck five times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

    He did not fire, the report said.

    Sengel said officers are allowed to use deadly force when they fear their lives are in danger.

    Still, the event has left a wound in the family. The sister who Sellers argued with, Terrika Sellers, said she now sees a memorial to her brother that is still outside the home.

    "I hate standing up here," she told News4's David Culver. "I really wish I could move, because that makes me think about it every time too. I just come out to smoke a cigarette I have to face that fact that my brother was once lying right there, and I don't like that."

    A medical examiner's report determined there were no drugs or alcohol in Sellers' system at the time of the shooting. The investigation into the shooting also found Sellers had emailed his family telling them he wanted to commit suicide, according to court documents.

    Terrika wonders if his military service had an effect on her brother's mental state. "It seems that everybody who goes over there somehow something happens to them," she said.

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