Commonwealth Attorney Decides Shooting By Off-Duty PW Sheriff’s Deputy Was Justified

| June 5, 2018 | 0 Comments | News

Herson Zelaya of Manassas.

The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office for Prince William County has determined that an off-duty Prince William County sheriff’s deputy was justified in shooting incident that occurred on May 30 in Manassas, even though the bullet inadvertently struck the wrong man.

The victim of the shooting survived his injuries.

Two suspects were charged with crimes in connection with the incident.

On May 30, detectives from the Violent Crimes Unit charged a suspect in connection to a fight resulting in a shooting, which occurred in the 7400 block of Willoughby Lane in Manassas on May 24.

According to police spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Perok, the investigation revealed that an off-duty Prince William County sheriff’s deputy, who resided on the property as a security resident, responded from his residence to the sounds of shots being fired in the parking lot area of the complex. Once outside, the deputy encountered a large group of individuals actively engaged in a fight.

The deputy observed one of the parties, identified as the accused, Herson Isaias Zelaya, armed with a weapon and run from the scene.

“Several verbal commands were issued by the deputy to the accused to drop the weapon. All commands were ignored,” Perok said.

At one point during the foot chase, the accused dropped the weapon. The accused then turned back to retrieve the firearm, at which time, additional verbal commands were given by the deputy. The accused continued to disregard those commands and moved towards the weapon.

At that point, the deputy discharged one round from his department issued service weapon. The accused was not struck.

A separate adult male, who was part of the initial large crowd gathered for the fight, was inadvertently struck by the ricocheting bullet.

This man was transported to an area hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and released.

Upon consultation with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office for Prince William County, the shooting by the off-duty deputy was determined to be justified. Special Investigations detectives investigated the initial call regarding the fight.

Additional charges were obtained in connection to that incident. The Prince William County Police Department remains the lead agency handling this investigation. Prince William County Sheriff’s Office is continuing a separate administrative Investigation.

Herson Isaias Zelaya, 19, of 11317 Democracy Lan in Manassas was arrested May 30 and charged with assault on a law enforcement officer and assault by mobHis court date is scheduled for July 25, 2018. Bond is unavailable.

A 16-year-old male of Manassas was arrested on May 25 and charged with reckless handling of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a juvenileHis court date is pending. His status is unavailable.

Read Shooting Investigation [Previously Released]

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