An off-duty U.S. Park Police officer has been arrested and charged in the fatal shooting of a fellow officer during a gathering in Virginia. Authorities say alcohol was a factor as the officer mishandled a gun he thought was unloaded.
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Officer Alexander Roy Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter
25-year-old Alexander Roy was charged with involuntary manslaughter for the shooting death of 22-year-old Jesse Brown Hernandez. The shooting occurred early Sunday morning inside a McLean, Virginia apartment.
According to the Fairfax County Police Department, Roy was handling a firearm he believed to be unloaded. While “dry firing” the weapon, he unintentionally fired a round that struck Hernandez.
Circumstances of the Fatal Incident
The shooting took place around 12:20 AM during an alcohol-fueled social gathering of off-duty U.S. Park Police officers. Roy was allegedly playing with the gun, pulling the trigger repeatedly under the mistaken assumption it wasn’t loaded.
Tragically, a live round discharged from the weapon, hitting Hernandez in the upper body. When police arrived after a 911 call, Hernandez was found dead at the scene.
Ongoing Investigation into Fatal Shooting
Following consultation with prosecutors, Roy was arrested and charged over the reckless handling of the firearm leading to Hernandez’s death. He is being held without bond pending investigation into the shooting.
The U.S. Park Police confirmed the incident involved off-duty employees at a private residence. They stated the focus is currently on supporting the family, friends and colleagues affected by the “tragic incident.”
Fairfax County Police have asked anyone with information about the circumstances of the shooting to contact detectives. The specific details surrounding the off-duty social gathering remain under investigation.
Troubling Questions Raised
The shooting raises concerning questions about safety protocols and alcohol use among off-duty officers. Some factors still unclear include:
- Why was Roy handling a loaded firearm in an alcohol-fueled social setting?
- What safety precautions and protocols were in place with off-duty officers?
- Were alcohol policies for off-duty officers followed?
- How was Roy’s fitness for duty assessed?
While full details are still emerging, the shooting highlights the potential dangers of mixing firearms and alcohol consumption in informal settings. Proper safety steps and judgment are essential even during off-duty hours.