O∞cer cleared in man’s fatal shoot­ing

The Washington Post Sunday - - LOCAL OPINIONS - BY JUSTIN JOUVENAL justin.jouvenal@wash­post.com

Fair­fax County prose­cu­tors have cleared a po­lice of­fi­cer of any crim­i­nal wrong­do­ing in the fatal shoot­ing of a Hern­don man dur­ing a chaotic hostage sit­u­a­tion in Jan­uary.

Mas­ter Po­lice Of­fi­cer Lance Guck­en­berger, a 16-year vet­eran with the Fair­fax County po­lice, shot and killed Mo­ham­mad Azim Doudzai af­ter he al­legedly lunged at of­fi­cers with a knife fol­low­ing a stand­off at his home on Jan. 16.

Po­lice said Doudzai shot two peo­ple in­side the home and was hold­ing a room­mate hostage. Po­lice said of­fi­cers moved in be­cause Doudzai had set fire to the home and the hostage had com­plained of not be­ing able to breathe be­cause of smoke.

Guck­en­berger filed a law­suit in early Fe­bru­ary, claim­ing that the im­mi­nent re­lease of his name by po­lice could put him at risk. Guck­en­berger cited threats other of­fi­cers across the coun­try had re­ceived af­ter po­lice-in­volved shoot­ings and use-of-force in­ci­dents.

Guck­en­berger ul­ti­mately de­cided not to pur­sue le­gal ac­tion, and his name was re­leased af­ter it was de­ter­mined there was no cred­i­ble threat to his safety.

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