Prosecutors in Virginia have ruled out criminal charges against four police detectives who shot at three men, killing one of them, during an undercover drug investigation in September.
Prince William Commonwealth’s Attorney Amy Ashworth’s office announced Friday that it found no “criminal liability” by the officers in reviewing the Sept. 1 shooting, the Washington Post reports.
Police fatally shot Jaiden Carter, 19, and wounded Shane Pollard, 30. Police have said that two Prince William County police detectives and two Manassas police detectives opened fire as Carter, Pollard and a third man tried to flee in a vehicle.
Gunfire erupted between the officers and at least one of three men who had met in a Woodbridge parking lot to sell hundreds of fentanyl pills and possibly a gun to an undercover officer, authorities said. The undercover officer was robbed at gunpoint before other officers arrived for backup, the Post reported.
Pollard and the third man, 18-year-old Jalil Turner, are being held on charges including robbery resulting in death. Online court records show neither man has entered a plea yet.
Agencies involved in the drug operation are investigating whether officers violated any department policies on using deadly force.
Joshua Wilson, a lawyer for Carter’s family, has referred to the shooting as “another example of police brutality.”
Prince William Police Chief Peter Newsham said the officers acted heroically. He also expressed condolences to Carter’s family.
“This is a tragedy, and any loss of life, regardless of the circumstances, is difficult,” Newsham said in a statement.
Republished with permission from the Associated Press.