Virginia

Fatal Shooting Prompts Suggestion for Less-Than-Lethal Force

Prior to the shooting, Doudzai had already wounded his two brothers and set his Herndon-area townhouse on fire

Vince Vaughn and Kyla Weber
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

An independent police auditor is recommending a northern Virginia police force increase use of less-than-lethal ammunition in the wake of a fatal shooting last year. 

The auditor found Fairfax County police acted properly when they fatally shot 32-year-old Mohammad Doudzai in January 2017. 

Prior to the shooting, Doudzai had already wounded his two brothers and set his Herndon-area townhouse on fire. In addition, a roommate of Doudzai was trapped in a smoke-filled bathroom. 

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A sniper fired three shots at Doudzai, who was wielding a knife. 

Doudzai was a Woodbridge High School graduate who worked as a mechanic, she said. A friend told News4 she often called him "Azim the Dream." She said Doudzai was engaged to the woman police described as his girlfriend.

Neighbor Monique Tran, who was ordered to leave her home as police and fire fighters responded, described Doudzai as friendly. He often helped neighbors who had car trouble.

"He very nice. He said, 'Hi, I can help you,'" she said.

The auditor, in a report published Friday, did not fault officers' actions in the shooting. But he recommended that county police continue to expand use of less-than-lethal force, including foam-capped plastic bullets and pepper balls. 

In May, a prosecutor determined the shooting was justified.

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