Deputy's Fatal Shooting of Man Shortly After Discharge From Virginia Hospital Ruled Justifiable

The fatal shooting of a patient wielding a sign post by a sheriff's deputy shortly after the man's discharge from Inova Fairfax Hospital was justified, according to the Fairfax County commonwealth's attorney.

Officers were called to a bus stop on the hospital's campus before 10 p.m. Aug. 15 after reports of a suspicious man with some sort of edged weapon. 

Sheriff's Deputy Patrick McPartlin responded to the scene and tried to negotiate with the man, identified as 29-year-old Yovani Amaya Gomez. But the man charged at the deputy, prompting the deputy to fire his weapon, police said.

Gomez' injuries were initially thought to be non-life-threatening, but he later died. 

No deputies or officers were injured.

About 2 p.m. that very hot August day, a police officer called Fairfax County Fire and Rescue for Gomez out of concern he might be suffering from a psychological or medical condition, according to the commonwealth's attorney. Upon his arrival at the hospital about 2:30, he complained of unspecified pain and nausea.

After a series of tests, doctors diagnosed Gomez with general weakness and discharged him after 8 p.m. A security guard escorted him to a bus stop.

After 9 p.m., a witness first reported seeing Gomez waving the sign post and whacking a trash can with it. When two unarmed security guards responded, Gomez attacked one of them, striking him on the back of the neck with the post, the commonwealth's attorney's report said.

McPartlin and another deputy were guarding a patient at the hospital, so McPartlin walked over to the scene. When he approached with his gun drawn, Gomez rushed him holding up the post, which McPartlin said looked like a sword, according to the report.

As McPartlin backed away, he fired four shots, striking Gomez in the torso with three and grazing his arm with another.

The commonwealth's attorney's investigation determined the shots were fired in self-defense.

McPartlin, an 18-year veteran, had undergone crisis intervention team training, which help law enforcement officers handle incidents involving people with mental health issues, police said. He was placed on routine administrative leave. 

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