Police: Man argued, set townhome ablaze before being shot

AP News
|
Posted: Jan 17, 2017 9:04 PM

HERNDON, Va. (AP) — An argument between a man and his girlfriend sparked a violent afternoon at a townhome in a Virginia suburb of the nation's capital, leaving the man's brothers wounded by gunshots and the man dead after he was shot by police, authorities said Tuesday.

Mohammad Azim Doudzai had barricaded himself inside his townhouse in Fairfax County on Monday and set it ablaze, trapping his roommate inside as the house filled with smoke, police said.

Details released by Fairfax County police offered a clearer picture of the events that preceded the fatal police-involved shooting in the community of Herndon. It ended when officers approached the house and Doudzai came to the door with a knife, police said.

Doudzai had filed for bankruptcy in December, according to court records. Documents show that he was more than $60,000 in debt to various lenders and tax agencies.

The roommate, who suffered from smoke inhalation, and Doudzai's brothers are expected to survive their injuries, police said, although their conditions weren't released. The men weren't identified.

Events began with the argument between Doudzai and his 28-year-old girlfriend at his townhouse, police said. His girlfriend, who wasn't identified, called two of Doudzai's brothers, ages 37 and 23, and they came over to talk to him, police said. But the argument escalated, and Doudzai shot the men, according to authorities. His girlfriend and the brothers fled, driving to a hospital and calling police.

As officers responded and set up a perimeter, Doudzai set fires inside the house as sounds of gunfire came from the home, police said. Meanwhile, his 29-year-old roommate had fled upstairs and called 911, telling dispatchers he couldn't escape.

With smoke billowing out of the windows, officers approached the front door. Police said Doudzai came out with "at least one knife" in his hand, prompting an officer to shoot him.

The officer, who wasn't identified, is a 16-year veteran of the force. He was placed on routine administrative leave.

Fairfax County police officer Tawny Wright said the department does not release the races of officers or suspects unless it helps to identify a wanted person.

Court documents from Doudzai's bankruptcy filing show that he was a technician at an automotive diagnostics company in Herndon. A woman at the company who answered the phone declined to comment Tuesday.

JohnPaul Callan, an attorney who represented Doudzai in his bankruptcy filing, also declined to comment.

___

Associated Press news researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this story.