News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, February 12, 2010

This Week in Crime: Finger-Pointing in Fox Mill Shooting, Plus Burglaries and Middle School Gangs

The Fox Mill man shot by Fairfax County police last week in his home was mentally ill and holding a plastic replica of a pistol, according to family members.

The Herndon man who was shot by a Fairfax County police officer last week was known by police to be severely mentally ill, and he was wielding a plastic replica of a pistol when he was shot at close range in the chest and stomach, police and family members said.

Ian C. Smith, 25, remains in critical condition at Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he has undergone four operations to repair the damage from two .45-caliber bullets. He was shot Friday morning in the basement of the home he shares with his parents and younger sister on Fallon Drive after a three-hour standoff with Fairfax tactical officers overseen by a police major with extensive experience dealing with the mentally ill.

But Smith's family said the officers reacted rashly by even entering the basement.

"The cop had no reason to do what he did," said Brenda Smith, Ian Smith's mother. "He isn't a murderer out on the street. He was a kid down in his basement having a psychotic attack."

Police said Smith emerged from behind a bathroom door, lunged at two officers and began pulling the trigger of his plastic BB gun. The officer did not know it wasn't a real gun, police said. "It's tragic. My heart goes out to them," said Maj. Shawn Barrett, head of the Fairfax criminal investigations bureau, who did not oversee the situation that day but is the lead investigator.

Barrett said Smith "pulled that weapon out and pointed it point blank at the officers and was pulling the trigger. At that point, the officer just responds when it's him or the other person. The [tactical] officer reverts to his training. They did everything they could."
Meanwhile, a 14-year-old at Langston Hughes Middle School has been charged with assault and gang participation:
Police charged a 14-year-old boy with assaulting a 15- year-old boy at Hughes Middle School, 11401 Ridge Heights Road, around 9:50 a.m. on Tuesday, January 26. The victim did not require medical attention. Petitions were obtained for assault and gang participation.
And after a long respite from last year's string of burglaries, a home on Moss Point Lane in North Reston was burglarized, police said.
A home in the 11900 block of Moss Point Lane was burglarized some time between noon on Friday, January 22 and 6:25 p.m. on Monday, January 25. Jewelry and watches were stolen.

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