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Police: Unknown Number of Officers Shot, Killed Alexandria Man

Alexandria police fatally shot Taft Sellers, 30, after responding to a domestic disturbance Feb. 18.

Alexandria’s police chief says he doesn’t yet know how many officers fired their weapons or how many shots were fired in the Feb. 18 police shooting of a man on Duke Street.

Police shot and killed Taft Sellers, 30, of Alexandria after responding to a domestic disturbance. Witnesses told Patch they heard multiple shots fired.

On Monday, Police Chief Earl Cook told reporters that officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave, per departmental policy. Police know how many officers responded to the scene, but Cook said he doesn’t know how many discharged their weapons, pending the outcome of ballistics tests and the ongoing investigation.

Cook told reporters he has faith in his officers.

“My presumption is, my officers will always act, hopefully, with good judgment and based on training,” he said. “So, our officers are trained to respond to a threat, and I make an assumption that they had a treat and they responded to a threat, and other than that I await the investigation.”

Cook said he did not yet know if anyone other than officers fired a weapon. The person who made the 911 call that alerted police to the domestic incident did report a man at the scene had a weapon, he said.

The domestic incident involved a family disagreement, Cook said. Who made the call remains under investigation.

Cook said the department has launched both a criminal investigation, to help determine whether any charges will be brought in the case, and an administrative investigation to determine whether officers acted in line with departmental policy. The results of the criminal investigation will be sent to Commonwealth's Attorney Randy Sengel. 

The department has also contacted the Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigations and meets quarterly with the Alexandria Human Rights Commission, Cook said. He said Alexandria last officer-involved shooting occurred four years ago, when an officer shot and injured a man.

Cook said he has been in constant contact with Sellers’ family since the shooting to offer them his support. Anyone who witnessed or has information regarding the incident is asked to call the Alexandria Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Section at 703-746-6711.

Read more:

  • Police: Suspect in Fatal Police Shooting Had Gun
Female adult February 27, 2013 at 10:11 PM
Mr. Sellers was a military personnel I'm sure he knows how to stand down in this type of situation. I wonder what really happened so sad!
KC Jones February 28, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Taft was a GOOD MAN and a good friend!!! Not sure why they had to kill him! Shoot to kill, was it really necessary?
oj March 01, 2013 at 12:06 AM
Why did the officer not give the mother a chance to speak to Taft. She beg them not to kill her baby and they only asked for his name? He had no intention to harm anyone. Did he really first? Will every really know?
TilyaB March 01, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Sum police justice take that uniform straight to the damn head this is a innocent man who served a country some years for there well being they open fired cause they assume he was armed and dangerous now they've took an innocent life shame on Alexandria police department R.I.p Taft
megster March 29, 2013 at 03:30 PM
“My presumption is, my officers will always act, hopefully, with good judgment and based on training...” It should be his hope, anyway. I've observed officers in the APD acting with very, very poor judgement. Overreach, intimidation, and lying under oath. They need citizen oversight.

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