Fairfax County Police Shooting Update

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis updates media on an officer-involved shooting in McLean. 

McLean resident Jasper Aaron Lynch on July 7 twice asked his family to call 911 while he was having a mental-health crisis.

After flinging a wooden mask at Fairfax County police officers who responded to the second call and charging at them while swinging a champagne bottle in the darkened living room, police shot him to death.

County police, in compliance with departmental transparency policies, on Aug. 4 released body-worn-camera footage from the confrontation, which Police Chief Kevin Davis called “very active and chaotic.”

“On the occasions where police officers use deadly force, it’s always a profoundly sad event,” he said. “And this event is no different.”

The deceased’s parents, Pat and Kathy Lynch, said the family never would have involved police if they had known officers might arrive without a mental-health counselor in tow, and possibly use lethal force against their son.

“We believe that the three police officers who answered the second 911 call could have, and should have, handled this far differently,” the couple said in a statement released by their attorney after the police media briefing.

“To respond to Aaron’s mental-health crisis by shooting him at all, let alone multiple times, cannot be justified,” they said. “We recognize that, at times, police officers face grave and unknown dangers in the line of duty, but that was not the case for that call at our home regarding our son.”

Police at the briefing showed footage of officers’ interactions following both 911 calls.

On July 7 around 7:11 p.m., McLean District Station dispatched officers to the Lynch family’s house in the 6900 block of Arbor Lane.

A family friend had called and expressed concerns about Lynch, 26, who was distraught and had been throwing and breaking objects in the house.

A co-responder team, which included an officer with the police department’s Crisis Intervention Team and a clinician from the Sharon Bulova Center for Community Health, arrived at the home around 7:26 p.m.

Lynch was not home and the team could not find him during a search of the neighborhood. The clinician contacted Lynch’s parents, who were not home at the time, police said.

The family at 8:34 p.m. called police again after Lynch returned home. This time, three officers trained in crisis intervention responded, but not the clinician, who was at another location doing administrative paperwork at shift’s end.

The officers spoke with Lynch’s sister outside the home before going inside to see if he would come with police voluntarily.

Lynch was holding a champagne bottle and a large, decorative, wooden tribal mask. The living room was not lighted, but a room behind it and the upstairs hallway were. Officers illuminated Lynch with their flashlights and received glare back from a mirror in the living room.

Police ordered him to drop the items, but Lynch refused, threw the mask at an officer and charged, swinging the bottle with both hands in a striking motion, police said.

Two of the officers discharged their electronic-control weapons (i.e., tasers), but they did not stun Lynch, who continued running toward police. Pfc. Edward George, a 10-year veteran of the department, fired his service pistol, striking Lynch four times. The shooting occurred about 30 seconds after officers entered the home.

Police rendered aid until Fire and Rescue Department personnel arrived, but Lynch died at the scene.

Police across the country use force in response to resistance and aggression, Davis said.

County police take lethal shootings “very seriously” and conduct thorough criminal and administrative investigations afterward, in partnership with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Davis said.

Davis called Lynch’s movements toward the officers an “aggressive act.” “We absolutely could not have walked away from that incident,” the chief said.

That was not enough for Lynch’s parents, who said they now are “left only with memories and regret.”

“We hope our efforts to find out more about this incident will, in the future, help families in similar situations avoid such a tragic outcome,” they said.

County police over the last decade have averaged 1.5 officer-involved shootings annually, but the department has had five such incidents so far this year, Davis said.

Departmental policy is to release body-worn-camera footage of officer-involved shootings within 30 days; in this case, it was 28 days.

County police so far in 2022 have responded to 6,700 service calls – or about 33 per day – involving people experiencing mental or behavioral crises, Davis said. That figure is about double the rate from just a few years ago. Officers use force in fewer than 1 percent of those cases, he said.

The department’s co-responder program has one trained clinician available to join officers on calls; that will increase to two clinicians when the initiative goes into its second phase Aug. 8, Davis said. When the department implements Phase 4 of the program, 16 clinicians (eight at any given time) will be available to ride with officers.

[https://sungazette.news provides content to, but otherwise is unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]

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(7) comments

George Lawton

There are no questions unexplained. Video speaks for itself, he attacked violently two policeman and was shot dead. End of story.

Harry Morant

His family called the Police, the arm of the Government that holds the power of life and death, the family are to blame for the outcome. The family should have dealt with him on their own, or were they ultimately looking for a solution to their problem, and a $$ payout?

Robert Dale

Ha! This website is so bereft of actual content, like real reporters instead of couch-locked beneficiaries, that these editors best idea for content is repeating the same articles each week. How many times will you copy/paste the one about the Billionaires? Or how many times will you repeat this story without providing any new information? Pathetic. InsideNova makes me feel like an intelligent and capable human, in comparison to their unoriginal, bot-like content

Change Craford

And how many times will you read and complain and still come for more. You folks complain just cause you have miserable lives.

Sacagawea Lax

Do you like the merch?


Harry Morant

At least the idiots who will buy and wear that crap will help normal people identify them as morons. Their mask wearing, alone and in a car, is also a clue!

John Dutko

That is straight cringe.

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