The Washington Post

Officer shot man in back of head, his sister says

Family members view video of fatal shooting of Kevin Hargraves-shird


A man who was fatally shot by a D.C. police officer on Saturday in Northwest Washington appears to have been struck in the back of the head, according to the man’s sister, who watched a video Monday from the officer’s body camera.

Police said the officer saw Kevin Hargraves-shird “armed with a handgun” before the officer fired one shot and struck the 31-yearold.

The sister, Serena Hargraves, said the video shows the officer pulling his firearm while in his cruiser, jump out and yell “gun” before firing.

“It was like two seconds,” Hargraves said.

Many details about the shooting that occurred about 4 p.m. in the 200 block of Madison Street NW near Fort Slocum Park remain in dispute, including if a gun was pointed at police at the time the officer fired and what, if any, commands were issued by police.

Police confirmed relatives were given access to watch the video Monday afternoon.

The video has not yet been released publicly. City officials have until Friday to post the video on their website and identify the officer who fired. That officer is on administra­tive leave.

Hargraves, 38, said the family has given the city permission to show the video publicly. She also said police initially misspelled her brother’s last name.

Hargraves and her father watched the video after she and about two dozen demonstrat­ors marched to the 4th District police station on Georgia Avenue. They angrily shouted at police in a demand for more answers.

A vigil is planned for Tuesday night where Hargraves-shird was shot.

A police department spokesman, Dustin Sternbeck, said agency officials would not comment until additional details are learned through their investigat­ion. Sternbeck did confirm Hargraves-shird was struck in the head, but he would not describe the injury further.

Police said the incident began when people in two vehicles shot at others walking near Longfellow Street and Georgia Avenue NW. Police said the pedestrian­s returned fire at the vehicles. Two men were wounded in the gunfire.

Police said a black vehicle and a green vehicle were driven away from the scene and are being sought. Police also said bystanders notified them that three people in a white Kia had also fled the shooting scene and could be seen brandishin­g and hiding firearms. Police said Hargraves-shird was driving the Kia.

Executive Assistant Police Chief Ashan M. Benedict told reporters Saturday that the officer “engaged an armed man” about seven blocks from the shooting at Longfellow Street and Georgia Avenue.

“He gave commands,” Benedict said of the officer. “Those commands were not complied with.” Benedict later said the officer yelled “gun, gun, gun.” Hargraves said she did not hear the officer issue any other commands to drop a firearm in the video she reviewed.

Police said they recovered from a grassy area a Taurus 9mm semiautoma­tic handgun loaded with 18 bullets and they believe Hargraves-shird was holding it when the officer fired. Police also said they found three other guns in the vehicle, including a rifle. Benedict said whether HargravesS­hird pointed a gun at the officer remained under investigat­ion.

Hargraves said she could not see from the video a gun in her brother’s hands at the time he was shot, or when the officer approaches as Hargraves-shird is seen lying on his stomach. She said the footage shows the gun was found some distance from where her brother collapsed.

Hargraves also said she believes her brother and others in the white Kia were not involved in the earlier shooting but were trying to get away from that scene.

Benedict said Saturday that police believe the white Kia was “directly related to the shooting” earlier at Longfellow Street and Georgia Avenue, but he said the precise connection was being investigat­ed.

The police report on the shooting also says “a white Kia left the scene” of the earlier shooting.

Saturday’s shooting came two weeks after a D.C. police commander fatally shot a man he said he saw pointing a gun along the D.C. waterfront entertainm­ent district known as the Wharf.

D.C. police have shot five people this year, three of them fatally. In addition, a Metro Transit Police officer shot and wounded a man and a uniformed officer with the U.S. Secret Service shot and killed a man outside the Peruvian ambassador’s residence in Northwest Washington.

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