A family wants answers on why a man was chased and how he died after police pursued him on Tuesday night from Old Town Alexandria to Southeast D.C.
“Why did this have to happen? It’s just — why? Why? Why?” said Margaret Middleton.
She’s the older sister of Anthony Louis, whose family is devastated by his death. Louis was 35.
“He didn’t deserve this. He left children behind. A fiancée. A mother,” Louis’ mother, Margie Toney, said. “He was taken for us for no reason, and we want answers.”
Police say someone opened fire in the 800 block of N. Patrick Street in Old Town at about 8:40 p.m. Tuesday.
Louis’ family says he was at a cookout nearby and had nothing to do with the gunfire. They say when he heard the shots, he got in a car with his brother, cousin and another man to leave.
Alexandria police say officers located a “suspect vehicle” with four men inside.
They began to pursue the car when Louis drove away.
“We have no idea why they were the ones pinpointed because I was told there were several other cars also pulling off from that area,” Middleton said.
U.S. Park Police joined the pursuit, which ended in a crash in D.C., on I-295.
Police say Louis got out of the car, jumped over the jersey barrier and landed below on Malcolm X Avenue.
A U.S. Park Police officer used a stun gun on Louis before taking him into custody.
Louis’ sister questioned the officer’s actions.
“After falling 40 to 50 feet, how combative could he have been?” she asked.
Police say Louis was conscious and breathing when D.C. medics arrived but lost consciousness inside an ambulance. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Louis’ mother says she still hasn’t been able to see her son’s body.
“I’m in serious pain. I’m hurting. I don’t understand why this happened to my son, but I want to know what happened to him,” she said.
Six Alexandria officers who were involved were placed on administrative duties during an internal review of the incident.
U.S. Park Police officers who were involved were placed on administrative leave.