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Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office Concludes Investigation Into Fatal Shooting in Southeast Washington

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
No Charges to Be Filed Against Metropolitan Police Department Officer

            WASHINGTON - The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia announced today that there is insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights or District of Columbia charges against the officer from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) who was involved in the fatal shooting, in May 2021, of Vedo Hall in Southeast Washington.

            The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) conducted a comprehensive review of the incident. This included interviews of civilian and law enforcement witnesses as well as a review of physical evidence, recorded radio communications, Body Worn Camera (BWC) footage, medical reports, and reports from the Metropolitan Police Department.

            According to the evidence, shortly after 11 a.m. on May 24, 2021, MPD Seventh District Officers were dispatched to an apartment in the 1200 block of Mississippi Avenue SE, to check on the welfare of a woman who reportedly was being held against her will by her ex-boyfriend, Mr. Hall. Additionally, Mr. Hall was reported to be armed with a firearm. Officers knocked on the apartment door and announced, “police!” Mr. Hall replied, “I’m about to shoot!” The woman was heard from inside the apartment stating, “Please don’t! please don’t!” Mr. Hall then opened the apartment door and again stated, “I’m about to shoot.” Officers saw Mr. Hall was armed with a rifle, and Mr. Hall then closed the door to the apartment.

            Members of MPD’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) subsequently breached the door and entered the apartment. They determined that the apartment was empty. A rear window on the apartment was open and the screen had been pushed out.  It appeared that Mr. Hall and his ex-girlfriend had fled the apartment before the officers set up a perimeter.

            Hours later, at approximately 3 p.m., two other MPD officers responded to the 1300 block of Alabama Avenue SE after MPD developed information that the woman’s cellphone was near that location. The officers exited their patrol vehicle and proceeded to walk westbound in the 1300 block of Alabama Avenue SE.

            One officer entered a gate that led to the walkway of the breezeway on the south side of 1351 Alabama Avenue SE. He was immediately confronted by Mr. Hall at the entrance into the breezeway. Mr. Hall was holding a large cardboard box in front of him with both his right and left hands. The officer forced his way between the fence and the side of the building and made his way onto the breezeway. Mr. Hall began to back away from the officer and drew a rifle from the cardboard box he was holding. Mr. Hall’s ex-girlfriend, who had been standing next to Mr. Hall, screamed and ran away. The officer drew his service pistol and backed away from Mr. Hall. The officer yelled, “Stop! Stop! Put it down!” Mr. Hall, with his right hand on the grip of the rifle, took up a shooting stance and pointed his rifle at the officer. The officer then discharged two rounds from his service pistol, striking Mr. Hall once in the face and once in the left leg.

            Mr. Hall, 26, died from a gunshot wound to the head.

            After a careful, thorough, and independent review of the evidence, federal prosecutors have found insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officers used excessive force under the circumstances.

Use-of-force investigations generally

            The U.S. Attorney’s Office reviews all police-involved fatalities to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to conclude that any officers violated either federal criminal civil rights laws or District of Columbia law.  To prove such violations, prosecutors must typically be able to prove that the involved officers willfully used more force than was reasonably necessary.  Proving “willfulness” is a heavy burden.  Prosecutors must not only prove that the force used was excessive, but must also prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the officer acted with the deliberate and specific intent to do something the law forbids. 

            The U.S. Attorney’s Office remains committed to investigating allegations of excessive force by law enforcement officers and will continue to devote the resources necessary to ensure that all allegations of serious civil rights violations are investigated fully and completely. The Metropolitan Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division investigates all police-involved fatalities in the District of Columbia.

Updated December 9, 2021

Civil Rights