News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, February 22, 2010

This Week in Crime: Fairfax Police Officer Cleared in Shooting of Fox Mill Man

The police officer who shot a mentally ill Fox Mill man in his home on Feb. 5 has been cleared of criminal charges. The man, 25-year-old Ian C. Smith, is expected to recover.

The Fairfax County police officer who shot a mentally ill Herndon area man in his basement on Feb. 5 will not be charged with a crime, the Fairfax prosecutor said Friday.

Tactical officers were trying to take Ian C. Smith, 25, into custody after he had shown the handle of a gun to his mother and sister. Fairfax police said they thought Smith was asleep, but when they went to the basement, he reportedly pointed a gun -- now known to be a plastic BB gun -- at an officer.

The officer heard "click click click," and thought a trigger was being pulled and shot Smith in the chest and the stomach.

Smith's family said Thursday that Smith had regained consciousness this week in the intensive care unit at Inova Fairfax Hospital, but doctors told the family that Smith is not out of mortal danger.

Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh said Friday he had reviewed the case and "found no criminal liability on the part of the officer who fired his weapon." The officer's name has not been released. Fairfax police typically do not release the names of officers involved in shootings or other critical events.

Alan E. Smith, Ian Smith's father, said he was not surprised by the ruling. He said he has become increasingly suspicious of the police explanation of how the shooting occurred in the basement, and why the decision was made to enter the basement when his son, who the police knew was paranoid schizophrenic, was the only person in the house.

"Ian is going to live to tell his side of the story," Alan Smith said. He said his son has undergone eight operations to repair the damage from two .45-caliber slugs, and that doctors have not yet been able to close his chest up.


  1. Waitaminute... the guy is wondering why the police chose to enter the basement? If they didn't want the police to come, WHY DID THEY CALL THEM??

  2. "why the decision was made to enter the basement when his son, who the police knew was paranoid schizophrenic, was the only person in the house."

    Hey, if a paranoid schizo points a gun at you, it's no big deal, relax! Why would a police officer overreact to anything as obviously non-threatening as a nutcase with a gun?

    The police came, according to the story, because the schizo's mother called them and said he'd been pointing a gun at his sister, who didn't know it was a toy gun.

    "Barrett said police also were told that Smith was a "chronic drug user" and often used PCP, a hallucinogen."

    Hey, even more reason for the cops to take it easy! Gosh, a nut with a gun on PCP, that sounds about as dangerous as a toddler with a lollipop, doesn't it?

  3. I wonder what it says about the readership of this blog that a post about the investigation into a police shooting gets two insensitive comments from people who don't know what's going on, and posts about cartoon characters discussion redevelopment get dozens of comments.


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