Fairfax County

Police Release Name of Officer Involved in Deadly Herndon Shooting

Fairfax County police have released the name of an officer who fatally shot a man following a standoff at a Herndon home. 

Officer Lance Guckenberger, a 16-year veteran of the department, fatally shot Mohammad Azim Doudzai, 32, after a standoff at Doudzai's home in January. Police say Doudzai shot two of his brothers, set his home on fire with his roommate still inside and then lunged at police with a knife.

Investigators say the incident began with an argument between Doudzai and his girlfriend. Doudzai's girlfriend called two of his brothers, and they went to the house to talk with him. Doudzai then shot his brothers, who are 23 and 37, police said.

The girlfriend and Doudzai's two brothers fled the townhouse, headed to a hospital and called police. As officers responded to the townhouse, they heard gunshots coming from inside. Then, they saw smoke coming from the third floor.

Doudzai's roommate, a 29-year-old man, hid in a room upstairs and called 911. He said he could not escape.

Police negotiators talked with Doudzai by phone, but he refused to cooperate, police said.

"The fire meanwhile is growing more intense, but keep in mind that the fire department cannot make entry when there is someone inside shooting, and now there have been multiple gunshots from inside this house," police spokeswoman Julie Parker said on the scene Monday evening.

Police say he was holding a knife and lunged toward the officers.

That's when Guckenberger shot him.

Officers helped the man who was being held hostage and took Doudzai to a hospital, where he died.

Guckenberger later sued the department under a John Doe alias, challenging its new policy of releasing an officer's name within 10 days when involved in a fatal shooting unless special circumstances exist. 

A hearing on the issue was canceled after police indicated they have no immediate plans to release the officer's name anyway

In 2005 and 2010, Guckenberger was involved in two other officer-involved shooting. Both were determined to be justified. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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