Metro Police Beat: Man wandering in subway tunnel escaping electrocution due to rail being turned off but shot by officer

Metro Police Beat newMaybe he would have preferred being hit by a train or stepping onto the third rail; was this guy a terrorist looking to plant a bomb or simply a hobo wandering around?

Metro officials have released this information:

Preliminary information released in officer-involved shooting

The Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD), with concurrence from Metropolitan Police (MPD), today provided the following update on last night’s use of deadly force by an MTPD officer at Potomac Avenue Station.


At approximately 8:53 p.m. Thursday, March 12, Metro Transit Police received a call from Metro’s Rail Operations Control Center reporting an unauthorized person in the tunnel outside of Potomac Avenue Station on the Orange, Blue and Silver lines. Transit Police officers responded to the station and began an investigation. During the course of that investigation, one of the officers encountered an adult male subject in the westbound tunnel and subsequently shots were fired by the officer using a department-issued service weapon.

As is standard protocol, the processing of the scene and collection of evidence was handled by the Metropolitan Police Department. That evidence will be turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for review.

A Washington Metro train in a station. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

A Washington Metro train in a station. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

With concurrence from MPD, the following information has been authorized for public release as a result of the preliminary investigation:

  • At approximately 8:50 p.m., the train operator of a Franconia-Springfield-bound Blue Line train notified the Metro Rail Operations Control Center of an unauthorized subject in the tunnel between Stadium-Armory and Potomac Avenue stations.
  • At 8:52 p.m., the reporting train was secured at Potomac Avenue and the track was taken out of service. Third-rail power was de-energized by the Rail Operations Control Center.
  • Metro Transit Police dispatched officers at 8:53 p.m.
  • The first transit police officer arrived on scene at 8:57 p.m. Three additional MTPD units arrive prior to 9:01 p.m.
  • The MTPD officers initiated inspections of the tunnels that lead into Potomac Avenue.
  • Shortly before 9:10 p.m., a responding MTPD officer encountered a male subject in the westbound tunnel approximately 400 feet east of Potomac Avenue Station.
  • During that encounter, the MTPD officer discharged her department-issued service weapon, resulting in fatal injuries to the male subject.
  • There were no injuries to MTPD officers.
  • The identity of the decedent will be released by MPD.
  • The name of Metro Transit Police officer involved has not yet been released. She is a veteran officer with more than 10 years of service.
  • As is standard protocol, the officer involved has been placed on paid administrative leave during the review of use of force.

The incident remains under investigation. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or may have seen the male subject in or around Potomac Avenue Station, or the adjacent stations of Eastern Market or Stadium-Armory, is asked to call Metropolitan Police at (202) 727-9099 or Metro Transit Police at (301) 955-5000.

The Metro Transit Police Department is providing its full cooperation to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Metropolitan Police Department as they conduct an inquiry into the use of force.

Potomac Avenue Station was closed from the time of the incident until the MPD investigation was completed during the overnight hours. From 9 p.m. until midnight, Blue, Orange and Silver line trains operated through the station without stopping using a single track. The station reopened for normal service this morning.

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