U.S. Attorney’s Office Concludes Investigation Into Suicide Committed by Person Evading Police
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
No Charges to Be Filed Against Metropolitan Police Department Officers
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 officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) who were present for the February 2023 death of S.P., a 40-year-old District resident who died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the MPD Internal Affairs Division conducted a comprehensive review of the incident, which included a review of law enforcement and civilian eyewitness accounts, security camera footage, BWC footage, physical evidence, recorded radio communications, forensic reports, the autopsy report, and reports from MPD.
According to the evidence, at about 12:18 a.m. on Feb. 28, 2023, officers with the MPD were called to the 1400 block of Park Road, N.W. for a report of sounds of gunshots. As the police were conducting their initial investigation, including a review of security camera footage depicting an altercation between S.P. and another person, S.P. returned to the scene. Because S.P. matched the image in the footage, officers attempted to make contact with S.P. S.P. initially ran from the police. At one point, S.P. turned around, brandished a handgun and fired multiple shots at the police. The police returned fire. However, all of the shots by S.P. and the police missed their intended targets. S.P. then ran into an alley located in the 1400 block of Meridian Place, N.W. As two officers waited for assistance at the entrance to the alley, S.P. committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
After a careful, thorough, and independent review of the evidence, federal prosecutors found insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any officer on the scene used excessive force under the circumstances or otherwise willfully violated S.P.’s rights.
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.
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 November 13, 2023
Press Release Number: 23-694