No criminal charges for officer involved in fatal Herndon shooting

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There will be no criminal charges placed against the Fairfax County police officer who shot and killed a man who had barricaded himself inside a Herndon home last January.

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond Morrogh says his investigation has found “no basis for criminal liability” by Master Police Officer Lance Guckenberger in the death of Mohammad Azim Doudzai.

You can read the full report of the Commonwealth’s Attorney here.

The shooting took place January 16 at a home in the 13300 block of Covered Wagon Lane, after police were called for a report of two men shot. The shooting victims had left the scene for the hospital prior to the arrival of police but officers determined that Doudzai was inside armed with a gun. Police report that, as the incident unfolded, officers learned that a man was trapped inside the home with Doudzai and that a fire that had been ignited. That man was in contact with 9-1-1 dispatchers and told them that he was having trouble breathing and could not escape while the home filled with smoke.  At that point, according to the police report, Guckenberger “deployed his department issued firearm to stop the active threat created by Mohammad Azim Doudzai and allowed the rescue of the trapped man in the home.”

Fairfax County police say an internal investigation of the shooting has not yet been finished. Once it’s complete Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr will decide whether to release 9-1-1 audio tapes and helicopter video related to the incident.

Officer Guckenberger was involved in two prior deadly force incidents, one in 2005 and another in 2010. Both of those were determined to be lawfully justified uses of force. A county police news release praises Guckenberger for using “great restraint (in those incidents) while being exposed to suspects who were using weapons against the involved officer while the officer was attempting to preserve the sanctity of human life for others.”




About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at FairfaxNews. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years.  This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns.  He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C. He has won two Ohio State Awards for his reporting and producing and he led coverage that won an Edward R. Murrow Award.