TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – The man who was shot by US Park Police after a short chase into Fairfax County, Va., died Monday night after 10 days on life support, and the man’s family said he was unarmed when he was shot.
Bijan C. Ghaisar, 25, of McLean, Va., was an accountant for his father’s firm, and a graduate of Langley High School and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Park Police said they pursued his Jeep sport-utility vehicle on the evening of Nov. 17 because it had been involved in a hit-and-run accident on the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Alexandria, Va., and the pursuit ended in the Fort Hunt area of Fairfax County, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
Ghaisar’s family said in a statement that Ghaisar was shot three times in the head and suffered irreversible brain damage. A witness said last week that she saw two officers approach the Jeep and open fire at close range near Fort Hunt Road and Alexandria Avenue. Authorities have not said why the officers fired.
Ghaisar’s family said he had no weapons in his vehicle. “The reason for the murder of our son has yet to be determined,” the family said, “though no reasoning could possibly justify the actions of the one or more Park Police officers involved in this unthinkable act.”
The Park Police initially handled the investigation of the shooting, but last week turned the case over to the FBI “in the interest of objectivity.” The FBI confirmed Ghaisar’s death Tuesday.
The names of the officers involved and the reason for the shooting, including details of the initial traffic accident and the final traffic stop, have not been released.
The family’s statement said that Ghaisar, “a first-generation, American-born citizen of Iranian heritage, was peaceful and avidly anti-violence. He was unarmed. He presented no threat to anyone.”
Negeen Ghaisar, Ghaisar’s older sister, said the family has been given no information about any aspect of the incident, from the reported hit-and-run to the shooting. “Nothing,” she said.
The shooting occurred in the district of Rep. Don Beyer (D), who said Tuesday that “The death of Bijan Ghaisar has been shrouded in an unacceptable level of opacity. While I recognize that the matter is subject to an ongoing investigation, the public, particularly his family and friends, deserve to know what happened here, and I will continue pressing the Park Police and the FBI until we get those answers.”
Ghaisar was born at Fairfax Hospital, attended Great Falls Elementary School, Cooper Middle School, then played lacrosse at Langley High and graduated in 2010. His sister said he was very popular there and was voted “Most Adorably Clueless” by his class. He attended the University of Alabama for one year, then transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University where he was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He worked with his father, James C. Ghaisar, at the accounting firm Caesar & Associates in McLean.
A massive outpouring of grief erupted on Facebook Tuesday from dozens of friends after Ghaisar’s name was made public. “Bijan was one of the kindest, most caring people I have ever met…he was always laughing and smiling…One of the loveliest guys I have had the privilege of knowing” went many of the comments. “My heart is completely broken for the Ghaisar family.”
Ghaisar was a sports fan who was “obsessed” with the New England Patriots and attended many Washington Wizards games, his sister said. The youngest of two children, his parents immigrated to America decades ago, Negeen Ghaisar said. Ghaisar’s grandfather was a police chief in Iran and “we had a lot of respect for police officers. Bij definitely did. We’re all very patriotic people in my family. We always believed in the system.”