U.S. Attorney's Office Concludes Investigation Into Fatal Shooting of Marquesha McMillan
No Charges to Be Filed Against Police Officers in Oct. 26, 2015 Shooting, Which Followed Attempted Armed Robbery of Liquor Store
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia announced today that it has completed its review of the actions of five Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers who were involved in the fatal shooting of Marquesha McMillan on Oct. 26, 2015, following an attempted armed robbery of a liquor store in Northwest Washington. After a careful review of all of the evidence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights or District of Columbia charges against the officers involved in the fatal shooting of Ms. McMillan.
The comprehensive investigation included interviews of multiple law enforcement and civilian witnesses as well as the review of physical and forensic evidence; recorded radio communications; video surveillance; the autopsy report, and other evidence.
The shooting in this case took place on Oct. 26, 2015, at approximately 9:15 a.m., in the rear parking lot of a liquor store in the 7800 block of Alaska Avenue NW. Following the attempted armed robbery of the store by Ms. McMillan, 21, and Ned McCallister, both individuals fled from the establishment out of different doors upon seeing an MPD officer arrive for a routine business check. Ms. McMillan ran towards the rear parking lot, where she turned and fired a .380 semi-automatic pistol at three officers who were responding to the “robbery in progress” call. The officers returned fire as Ms. McMillan ran through the parking lot and hid behind a nearby dumpster. As reported by civilian witnesses, Ms. McMillan then reloaded her weapon while ignoring the officers’ commands to “drop the weapon” and “get on the ground.” While the three officers and Ms. McMillan exchanged additional gunfire, two other MPD officers approached Ms. McMillan’s location from an adjacent parking lot and fired their weapons at Ms. McMillan, who fell to the ground, fatally wounded. A subsequent autopsy revealed that Ms. McMillan was shot eight times, one of which was fatal.
Mobile Crime Technicians recovered Ms. McMillan’s .380 semi-automatic firearm.
McCallister, 22, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty on July 22, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to one count of attempted interference with interstate commerce by robbery, a federal offense, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm, a District of Columbia offense. He was sentenced on Oct. 14, 2016, to four years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.
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. A conclusion that “there is insufficient evidence” is not meant to suggest anything further about what evidence, if any, exists.
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 fully and completely investigated. The Metropolitan Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division investigates all police-involved fatalities in the District of Columbia.