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Fairfax officers shoot, kill man who allegedly stole sunglasses from Tysons Nordstrom

A man was shot and killed outside Tysons Corner Center on Feb. 22, 2023, in Fairfax County, Virginia. (7News)
A man was shot and killed outside Tysons Corner Center on Feb. 22, 2023, in Fairfax County, Virginia. (7News)
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Fairfax County Police said the man who was shot and killed by officers outside Tysons Corner Center Wednesday evening had allegedly stolen designer sunglasses from the mall.

According to police, two officers from the Tyson Urban Team (TUT) responded to a call about a theft from Nordstrom around 6:30 p.m. Security said the man was hiding designer sunglasses. FCPD said an officer saw the man leave the store and enter the parking garage -- the alarm activated as he left.

RELATED | Man shot and killed by officers outside Tysons Corner Center in Fairfax County, police say

Police identified Timothy McCree Johnson, 37, of Washington D.C. as the man shot and killed by officers. Authorities said Johnson ran through a mall parking garage and across the lot into a wooded area. FCPD said officers "gave him commands to get on the ground."

While in that wooded area, two officers fired their guns, striking Johnson in the chest once, police said. Officers rendered aid until Fairfax County Fire and Rescue arrived. Johnson was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

On Wednesday night, Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said the department is still working to determine exactly what prompted the officers to shoot.

"We don't know what we don't know right now," he said. "At some point in time in that chase, something happened that's still under investigation that prompted our two Fairfax County police officers to discharge their firearms. That is what is under investigation."

Davis said Wednesday he did not know if Johnson was armed.

"It's too early to speculate what may or may not have been in his hands or on his person," Davis said Wednesday. "We have to go over every square inch of this area to collect every relevant piece of evidence to get to the bottom of what happened."

Fairfax County Police spent hours back on the scene on Thursday.

Officers used metal detectors and K9s to search the wooded area where the shooting took place, looking to see whether Johnson may have discarded a weapon in the dense brush. No guns or other weapons have been found.

On Wednesday, 7News asked Chief Davis about the police department's protocols regarding the use of force, specifically when it comes to officers firing their guns while chasing a suspect.

“I don’t want to speculate why the officers discharged their firearms," Davis said. "Typically, if I understand your question, police officers will discharge their firearms when they’re in fear for their lives or the lives of others. Our investigators, our detectives -- both our major crimes detectives and our internal affairs detectives -- will ask all those probing questions as this investigation moves forward.”

Watch Chief Davis' Wednesday evening news conference:

Fairfax County police said the officers involved in the shooting were a 7-year veteran and an 8-year veteran of the force. Both are assigned to the Tysons Urban Team. Those officers have been placed on restricted duty status, pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard procedure during officer-involved shootings.

On Wednesday, Davis said Johnson was "well-known to law enforcement" in the region and has a "significant, violent criminal history."

READ ALSO | Police address weekend scare at Tysons Corner Center mall: 'no shots fired', 2 in custody

7News did some checking and found Johnson's criminal history includes charges for attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault in Prince George's County back in 2003.

On Thursday, Fairfax County NAACP President Michelle Leete expressed concern about the shooting that took Johnson's life.

"Fairfax NAACP is saddened by another fatal police-involved shooting. We are following this case closely and are in touch with the family's attorney. We implore FCPD to release the body-worn camera footage to the family as soon as possible," Leete said in an emailed statement sent to 7News.

SkyTrak7 flew over the scene and captured a large police presence in the parking lot Wednesday night. You can watch the video below.

FCPD said a criminal investigation into the use of force is being led by the department's Major Crimes Bureau, and the Internal Affairs Bureau is also investigating.

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The officers' body-worn camera videos will be released within 30 days, per police department policy. The names of the officers will be released within 10 days, per department policy.

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