In what appears to be a tragic accident possibly fueled by alcohol, an off-duty U.S. Park Police officer is believed to have fatally shot a fellow officer last weekend.
The scene unfolded early Sunday morning in a second-floor apartment in McLean in northern Virginia. Officials report there were four people in the residence including three off-duty Park Police officers.
The Fairfax County Police Department said that 25-year-old Officer Alexander Roy was arrested and charged in the fatal shooting. Law enforcement revealed he is currently charged with involuntary manslaughter and is being held without bond.
Investigators identified the victim as Officer Jesse Brown Hernandez, 22. They believe Roy was handling a weapon that he did not think was loaded.
Lt. James Curry of the Fairfax County Police said “apparently they were dry firing and the weapon discharged.” The round struck Hernandez in his upper body, killing him.
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Investigators described a hectic scene at the large apartment building after the apparent accidental shooting. Law enforcement swarmed the area and spread out to determine exactly what transpired.
According to Curry, “a shooting where it’s an unintentional shooting, there’s a lot of emotions that are involved in this, not just the moments of, but even the lifetime after this right now.”
Roy made his first court appearance Monday through a video conference and was assigned a temporary attorney. He indicated his family is working to secure permanent legal representation as his case moves forward.
According to Fox 5, one neighbor said she heard sounds of a conflict before the single shot was fired.
Joy Dawkins told the outlet that she could hear several people “and some type of conflict, some woman screaming stop, we weren’t exactly sure what was going on.”
She reported that as she walked her dog later, she saw the building surrounded by law enforcement.
When contacted, U.S. Park Police issued a statement directing questions to the Fairfax County Police. Officials declined to release an image of the victim or details about the service of the alleged shooter or victim.
The agency simply said that its focus was on “supporting the family, friends, and coworkers of our employees involved in this tragic incident.”