DC Police Fatally Shoot Man Holding ‘Rifle-Style’ Paintball Gun

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Kaylee Greenlee Immigration and Extremism Reporter
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An unnamed Metropolitan Police Department officer fatally shot a man reportedly holding a firearm on Tuesday night in Washington, D.C., according to law enforcement officials.

The officers were responding to a call reporting a man with a long gun, though the “firearm” could have been an airsoft gun or paintball gun, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Robert Contee said during a Wednesday night press conference. The MPD posted a photo of the “firearm,” which appears to be a “First Strike T15 Paintball Gun.”

“It appears it is possible [the firearm was an airsoft gun],” Contee told a reporter. He added that the department was unsure about the specifics related to the alleged firearm.

“That’s not the condition that it was in when it was displayed to officers,” Contee said of the photo of the gun posted to social media. “This weapon looks very real. It appears to be some type of airsoft rifle, perhaps a paint gun.”

The officers spoke with the man, identified as 34-year-old George Watson, several times before he returned “carrying a long gun,” Contee said. The man brandished a “rifle-style weapon” and aimed at the officers, according to the MPD.

At least one officer shot at Watson, to whom officials then rendered aid, according to the MPD. Watson and an unnamed MPD officer were transported to a hospital to be treated for gunshot wounds, where Watson died of his injuries, Contee said. (RELATED: ‘These Are Bad Ideas’: DC Police Union Head Says Police Reform Efforts Are Spiking Violent Crime)

Contee said he didn’t know whether the officer’s gunshot wound was sustained from the suspected paintball gun. Officers involved in the incident were placed on leave and body camera footage is under review, according to the MPD.

The MPD did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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