United States

‘He Was a Good Person': Friend Mourns Police Shooting Victim Killed in Virginia

The 25-year-old who was shot and killed in Virginia by U.S. Park Police earlier this month was a friendly person who loved sports, a friend stunned by Bijan Ghaisar's death said.

Jon Jafari said he was shocked to learn that Ghaisar died Monday after he was shot near George Washington Parkway 10 days earlier, on Nov. 17. 

"I know he wouldn’t hurt a fly," Jafari said.

The friends grew up together and attended Virginia Commonwealth University together. Both loved soccer and basketball. Jafari pointed to a photo of Ghaisar smiling to illustrate who he was.

"You can tell in his picture how happy and how genuinely nice he looks," he said.

"He just uplifted everyone when he was around you," Jafari continued. "He was a good person to be around.”

News4's David Culver briefly spoke with Ghaisar's father on Wednesday. He was too distraught too speak.

Eleven days after U.S. Park Police chased and shot Ghaisar in Fairfax County, the FBI identified him Tuesday and said he has died. 

Ghaisar, of McLean, was suspected in a hit-and-run. 

According to his family, the accountant was unarmed when police shot him in the head three times.

"He presented no threat to anyone," the Ghaisar family said in a statement issues Tuesday. 

"No reasoning could possibly justify the actions of the one or more Park Police officers involved in this unthinkable act," they continued. 

The FBI, which took the lead in the investigation last week, said Tuesday that they would not provide additional information because a federal investigation is ongoing. The FBI did not say why Park Police opened fire. Also, they did not comment on whether Ghaisar was armed. 

Ghaisar graduated from Langley High School in 2010 and Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015. He was a first-generation Iranian-American born in the United States and was "avidly anti-violence," his family said. 


Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information

Meet the woman trying every coffee shop in DC

‘Work together': DC diner owner urges government to prevent shutdown

"Bijan was an upstanding citizen in his community. He was loved by all -- a kind and gentle soul," his family said. 

Park Police pursued Ghaisar's SUV after a hit-and-run was reported in Alexandria, on southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway at Slaters Lane, the agency said in a statement. 

Officers tried to stop Ghaisar, who they suspected in the crime, but he "led United States Park Police officers on a vehicle pursuit," Park Police said. 

The chase continued south on the parkway, into Fairfax County. 

Park Police said they opened fire about 7:40 p.m. at Fort Hunt Road and Alexandria Avenue, an area with residential streets, about 6 miles south of the initial crash scene. At least one bullet hole could be seen in a window of the SUV. 

Two Fairfax County police officers responded to the scene but fired no shots, the department said. 

According to a Fairfax County Police Department dispatch call obtained by News4, Park Police opened fire, and then Ghaisar crashed his SUV. 

"We're at Fort Hunt and Alexandria roads. Park Police are firing shots," an officer can be heard saying amid gunfire.

"Driver's in the car. He just drove off the road," the officer continues.

Ghaisar, the only person in the SUV, was taken to a hospital in critical condition. 

After 10 days, he died. 

The investigation is ongoing. Fairfax County police turned over their in-car videos and other evidence to the FBI, county officials said last week. 

"We trust that the investigation will uncover what happened and permit justice for our son," the Ghaisar family said.

Contact Us