Fairfax County Officers Cleared in Fatal Shooting of Man with Mental Health Issues

Fairfax County Officers Cleared in Fatal Shooting of Man with Mental Health Issues

MCLEAN, Va. – No cops are being charged in connection with the 2022 shooting death of a man in Fairfax County who was suffering from a mental health crisis, according to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in northern Virginia.

On July 7, 2022, just before 7:00 p.m., Fairfax County police were called to a McLean residence in the 6900 block of Arbor Lane because someone had reported that a man was experiencing a mental health episode.

When officers from the FCPD were dispatched, the call was classified as involving a “emotionally disturbed person.”

A caller can be heard saying, “We have a family member here who was having a bit of a psychotic break,” in a tape that was made public in August 2022. “He has arrived. He’s hurling things at the moment, so it would be beneficial if we could get a dispatch.”

The caller stated that 26-year-old Jasper Aaron Lynch was smashing items in the house, pacing, and exhibiting indications of nervousness. Lynch has a history of disassociation and mental illness. Although Lynch was not acting violently against anyone, the caller expressed fear for his safety.

Chief of Police for Fairfax County Kevin Davis stated that when officers arrived with a crisis intervention team and a clinician, they were first unable to locate Lynch.

At approximately 8:45 p.m., he made another 911 call, and this time, the officers located him inside the same house.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney claims that as soon as the police saw Lynch, they attempted to speak with him verbally, but he attacked them.

Lynch is seen wearing a tribal mask in one hand and a wine bottle in the other in body cam footage from the incident. Lynch defies several orders from the officers to put down the objects, tosses the mask at them, and then chases after them while swinging a bottle.

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Tasers were used by two of the policemen, Kirsch and Pak, in an attempt to control Lynch, but they were ineffective.

Following that, there was still more fighting, and at one point, a third officer fired, striking Lynch four times.

Fairfax County Officers Cleared in Fatal Shooting of Man with Mental Health Issues (1)

Lynch was declared dead at the scene of the incident, even though no officers were hurt.

First Class Edward George, the officer who shot Lynch, was placed on administrative leave. As soon as the firing stopped, an investigation into the occurrence was started.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano stated in a written opinion made public on Friday: “After reviewing the incident, I have concluded that none of the three officers—all of whom used force to some extent—violated any criminal laws. Consequently, I choose not to file a criminal complaint against Officers Pat, Kirsch, or George.”

Jasper Lynch, Pat, and Kathy Lynch Lynch’s parents also stated in reaction to the announcement made by the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

The Commonwealth Attorney’s decision to drop charges against Officer George, the policeman who shot and killed our son Aaron Lynch on July 7, 2022, has saddened and heartbroken us. After closely examining the body camera film, we are of the opinion that the Commonwealth Attorney misrepresented several crucial aspects of this tragedy’s course.

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We find it incomprehensible that Aaron’s shooting could be perceived as anything other than an excessive and unwarranted use of force. After being tackled to the ground by another officer, Aaron was fully unarmed when Officer George fired the final, fatal shot into Aaron’s neck. Officer George had fired four shots at Aaron prior to this. Why was another round of shooting required?

Our family is now even more in agony and worried about the lengthy decision-making process of the Commonwealth Attorney. We find it quite disappointing and puzzling that it took longer than 18 months. All of the evidence contradicts the conclusions of this report. That day, our son was going through a serious mental health crisis. He had urged us to contact 911 because he was afraid.

The three police officers who responded to the call, in our opinion, should have handled this much differently. It is not acceptable to shoot Aaron five times, much less at all, in response to his mental health crisis. How could our modestly built 5-foot-6-inch kid, with a fancy mask and a bottle, pose a severe threat to three law enforcement officers?

There should be no family forced to deal with this injustice. For the sake of Aaron and his family as well as in the hopes that this may help stop similar tragic results for other families in the future, we will keep pushing for accountability from the FCPD and Fairfax County.”

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