An officer fought for his life as a suspect tried to kill him; that’s how Fairfax County’s police chief said he views new video of a deadly police shooting earlier this month.
Video released Thursday from three officers’ body cameras plus gas station surveillance footage shows the police killing of Brandon Lemagne on May 11. Police killed the 38-year-old in a McDonald’s parking lot on Richmond Highway after he was suspected of stealing a U-Haul.
Just two-and-a-half minutes pass from the time Lemagne pulls into the gas station to when officers open fire.
Gas station security camera video shows what preceded the deadly shooting. Lemagne pulls a U-Haul up to a gas pump. A license plate reader alerts the officer that the truck was stolen. The officer approaches Lemagne and tells him he needs to detain him.
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“Right now you’re just being detained since it’s reported stolen,” the officer says.
“What? Since when?” Lemagne replies.
As the officer reaches for the handcuffs and radios in, Lemagne suddenly grabs the holster, pulling on the officer and slamming him against the car. The officer orders him to let go.
Lemagne then opens the police car door and forces the officer inside. The officer continues to radio for help.
“He’s going for my gun! He’s going for my gun! Get off my gun!” he says.
The suspect then throws the car in reverse and hits the gas as the vehicle rolls into the McDonald’s lot, hitting two vehicles. That’s when the first of two officers arrive.
Christopher Grube, an eight-year veteran, fires multiple shots from a distance.
Seconds later, Kenyatta Momom, a 24-year veteran master police officer, pulls the suspect from the vehicle and fires more shots at close range.
Fearing the officer in the vehicle had been shot, fellow officers tend to him as the suspect lies motionless.
Chief Kevin Davis called Lemagne’s attack on the officer as a “once in a generation” incident.
“The perpetrator attempted viciously and violently to disarm our uniformed Fairfax County police officer. I think you saw that rather clearly. On top of that, he was literally abducted and taken hostage in his own marked police car,” Davis said.
The chief called the responding officers’ actions appropriate and life-saving.
The type of holster the officer had, a double-retention holster, may have saved his life, Davis said. The first line of retention failed but the second held.
The officers who opened fire are on administrative duty.