A report from Fairfax County’s top prosecutor recounts the eventful day this past October that led to a wild chase of an armed suspect.
The Oct. 6 incident started that morning when a driver made a U-turn in front of Arlington County police headquarters and brandished a gun at a sheriff’s deputy, later fleeing and striking a parked car.
It ended that evening with a car chase, gunshots being fired by the suspect along a residential Arlington street and along Route 50 in Fairfax County, and the suspect’s ultimate arrest after his gun reportedly jammed.
A detailed timeline of events was compiled by Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano, in a document released publicly late last week. The use-of-force review ultimately determined that a Fairfax officer who fired shots at the suspect acted properly.
Descano’s report is below.
REPORT ON OCTOBER 6, 2022, OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING
On October 6, 2022, Ofc. Chiz of the Fairfax County Police Department (“FCPD”) shot at Ricardo Singleton after a multi-hour series of events that began in Arlington, Virginia. At approximately 0845, Arlington County Sheriff’s Office (“ACSO”) Deputy Daley witnessed a Silver Honda Civic making an illegal u-turn on the pedestrian crosswalk outside of the Arlington Courthouse. The driver — later identified as Ricardo Singleton — waved at Deputy Daley to get his attention and then brandished a firearm with an extended magazine, pointing the firearm towards the ceiling of the vehicle. Both Deputy Daley and ACSO Deputy Zajkowski witnessed this brandishing. At the same time, a marked Arlington Police cruiser driven by Lt. Tabibi of the Arlington Police Department (“APD”) drove up behind Singleton’s vehicle and pressed his airhorn because Singleton’s vehicle was blocking traffic. Singleton rapidly drove away on Courthouse Road and then eastbound on 15th Street. Deputies Daley and Zajkowski entered a marked ACSO cruiser and followed Singleton’s vehicle. Singleton’s vehicle eventually pulled into the county owned parking garage and stopped next to the cruiser driven by Deputy Daley. Deputy Daley exited the cruiser, approached Singleton, and observed a firearm with an extended magazine on his lap. Deputy Daley drew his weapon and gave direct commands to Singleton to keep his hands raised. Singleton put the vehicle in drive and fled south on North Uhle Street. The Deputies pursued with lights and sirens activated, but they lost sight of the vehicle, which was driving at a high rate of speed, disregarding stop signs. APO received a report that Singleton struck another vehicle and continued to flee the scene.
ASCO Corporal Najera, who witnessed the original interaction between Singleton and Deputies Daley and Zajkowski, used the license plate number of the vehicle to obtain Singleton’s information to include a DMV photo. APD Ofc. Phan reviewed the body camera footage from Deputy Daley and compared the driver to the DMV photograph of Singleton. Ofc. Phan determined Singleton was the driver and obtained warrants against Mr. Singleton for Felony Eluding, Felony Hit and Run and Brandishing. At approximately 1245, Ofc. Phan entered the warrants into NCIC/VCIN and listed the Silver Civic as a felony vehicle. A BOLO alert containing information regarding the warrants and the displaying of a firearm was disseminated to surrounding jurisdictions. This BOLO alert contained Singleton’s photograph and his vehicle’s license plate number and description.
Arlington officers drove to a listed address for Singleton in Prince George’s County, Maryland. At approximately 1802, APD Ofc. Fitzgerald located Singleton’s car. Ofc. Fitzgerald enlisted the help of the Prince George’s County Police Department (“PGPD”) to apprehend Singleton. At approximately 1930, several PGPD marked police vehicles converged upon Singleton as he drove into a Popeye’s parking lot, but Singleton drove over a curb and eluded officers driving westbound on Marlboro Pike.
Arlington officers were able to ping Singleton’s phone and at roughly 2002 responded to Columbia Pike in attempts to arrest Singleton on the outstanding warrants. At 2012, Singleton’s vehicle was observed traveling northbound on S. Wakefield Street. Singleton’s vehicle was observed, and the license plate was noted as matching. APD Sgt. Lublin and APD Ofc. Johnson observed Singleton’s vehicle come to a stop in front of a resident at 4301 Columbia Pike. Yelling and car horns were heard coming from the vehicle. As Ofc. Johnson was roughly 50 feet away from the stopped vehicle, a window was rolled down and the interior light was turned on. Ofc. Johnson was able to view the driver alone in the vehicle and was able to confirm that the driver was Singleton. As Sgt. Lubin approached, the vehicle accelerated rapidly northbound on South Wakefield Street. Sgt. Lubin activated his lights and sirens; however, the vehicle did not stop. Sgt. Lubin heard gunfire coming from Singleton’s vehicle. Sgt. Lubin did not return fire. This was communicated over the police radio. The Crime Scene Unit was able to locate four spent shell casings in the area of S. Wakefield Street.
During the pursuit, Singleton was traveling over 90 MPH and at times driving the wrong way down the road and ignoring stop signs. Around 2016, the vehicle hit a civilian vehicle at the intersection of Route 50 and Annandale Road. The vehicle led them down Route 50 into Fairfax County. This was communicated to FCPD, along with information regarding the shots fired and the brandishing from earlier. Multiple police vehicles joined in the pursuit, to include APD, State Police, and FCPD. At the intersection of Route 50 and Graham Road, Singleton’s vehicle crashed into other vehicles that were stopped at a red light and came to a stop in the intersection. At this point, approximately 2018, Singleton exited the driver’s side of the vehicle and began to run towards a shopping center. Multiple civilian and law enforcement witnesses saw or heard Singleton fire a weapon numerous times as he ran towards the shopping center.
FCPD Ofc. Chiz heard via his police radio that shots had been fired at APD officers and that a pursuit was headed into Fairfax County. He activated his lights and siren and responded to the area of Graham Road. He stopped at the intersection and saw headlights moving through the traffic ahead of him with blue lights behind. He heard a loud bang and saw a silver vehicle strike other vehicles and then come to rest in the intersection of Graham Road and Route 50. Ofc. Chiz took his seatbelt off and saw the vehicle’s driver’s side door open, and a suspect exit with a black handgun pointed at the ground. Ofc. Chiz saw the firearm and began to exit his car. He observed the suspect raise the firearm and saw the suspect fire one round. Ofc. Chiz ducked down behind his door and heard multiple shots being fired at him. The suspect ran through the intersection with the firearm in his right hand. At this point Ofc. Chiz fired two to three times after making sure no citizens or officers were in his line of fire. Ofc. Chiz initially gave chase after the suspect but returned to his vehicle to obtain his canine. Once the suspect was in custody, he informed a supervisor that he discharged his weapon, and awaited further instructions.
APD Ofc. Johnson ran after Singleton. Ofc. Johnson saw Singleton scale a fence in the rear of the shopping center. After Ofc. Johnson was able to make it over the fence, he made his way down a dark alley. At this point Ofc. Johnson lost sight of Singleton. As Ofc. Johnson was walking back towards the shopping center, he noticed a black firearm with a magazine protruding. This firearm was located near the area where Singleton was observed scaling the fence. Ofc. Johnson noticed the firearm had jammed and there were still several bullets in the extended magazine. It appeared to Ofc. Johnson that a shell casing had ejected, spun 180 degrees, and then landed back in the ejection port, jamming the firearm. This firearm was collected by FCPO Ofc. Creecy.
Officers chased Singleton into the shopping center where Ofc. Bane and Cpl. Tucker found Singleton hiding and detained him. APO Ofc. Paulina placed Singleton into a police cruiser.
My investigation of this incident included a review of dispatch records, reports, interviews, A/V recordings, and physical evidence. This investigation leads me to conclude that Ofc. Chiz was reasonable in fearing that Singleton intended to either kill him or others on scene, or cause him or others on scene serious bodily injury. It was therefore legally permissible for Ofc. Chiz to use the level of force he deployed. Accordingly, I find no violations of criminal law on the part of Ofc. Chiz and decline to bring any criminal charge against the officer.
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