Washington, DC – Federal prosecutors have determined the DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer who fatally shot an armed kidnapping suspect in May was justified in using deadly force and will not face criminal charges.
The incident began at approximately 11 a.m. on May 24, when the MPD received a request for a welfare check on a woman who was allegedly being held against her will by her ex-boyfriend, 26-year-old Vedo Hall, The Washington Post reported.
Officers responded to an apartment located in the 1200-block of Mississippi Avenue Southeast and knocked on the door, at which point Hall warned them he was “about to shoot,” according to a statement issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia on Thursday.
Hall, who was armed with a rifle, opened the door of the apartment and again warned police he would shoot before he slammed the door closed again, WTOP reported.
The suspect fled out a back window with the victim as officers forced their way into the apartment.
According to prosecutors, officers began searching the 1300-block of Alabama Avenue Southeast at about 3 p.m. that day after they tracked the victim’s cell phone to the area, The Washington Post reported.
That’s when they spotted Hall carrying a cardboard box.
Hall pulled a rifle out of the box, at which point MPD Officer Noah Rathbun shouted at him to “Put it down!” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The victim, who was standing next to Hall, screamed and fled just before the suspect pointed the gun at Officer Rathbun, WTOP reported.
Officer Rathbun fired his duty pistol twice, hitting the suspect in his face and left leg.
Hall died from the gunshot wound to his head.
The woman was not injured during the ordeal, WTOP reported.
MPD Chief Robert Contee said the rifle Halls pointed at the officer was equipped with a drum magazine, according to WTOP.
Prosecutors determined there was “insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officers used excessive force under the circumstances,” The Washington Post reported.
Officer Rathbun has served the MPD for five years.