Soon after Joe Biden purged the Pentagon of Donald Trump‘s appointees, installing his own loyalists into key positions, an officer has been placed on leave after fatally shooting two people in the street.
A Pentagon Force Protection Agency Police officer has been placed on administrative leave after fatally shooting two civilians, who he allegedly believed were breaking into a car. The off-duty officer “advised he observed what he thought was a car being broken into” at around 5 a.m. at the Takoma Overlook Condominiums in Takoma Park, Maryland.
According to police, the officer engaged the two suspects, but they did not listen to his directions, and instead attempted to drive off in a vehicle. The officer then opened fire with his service weapon. The two suspects showed up at a nearby hospital soon after the shooting, where they both died.
Activists are calling for the police to release all body camera footage and audio of dispatch calls related to the incident.
“This was a wrongful shooting,” said activist Seth Grimes. “This is not someone who has been trained to handle interactions with community members. But this case illustrates why we need transparency [and] use of force rules governing police officers.”
A Department of Defense spokesperson shared protocols for off-duty Pentagon officers, noting that “exercise of any law enforcement authority while off-duty is generally limited to a serious breach of the peace… including assault and threats to kill, injure or maim.”
“Firearms may be discharged at moving vehicles when an employee has a reasonable basis to believe that the vehicle poses an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm to the employee or others,” the DOD spokesperson added.
The incident is being investigated by the Takoma Police and the Montgomery County State Attorney’s Office.