Washington, DC – A DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) sergeant was charged with second-degree murder on Tuesday in connection with the fatal officer-involved shooting of an armed suspect who tried to flee from police after being found unresponsive behind the wheel of a running car at an intersection in 2021.
A three-count federal indictment against 41-year-old MPD Sergeant Enis Jervic was unsealed by U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves on March 7, CBS News reported.
Sgt. Jervic has been charged with second-degree murder, illegal use of a firearm, and a federal civil rights violation in connection with the fatal shooting death of 27-year-old An’Twan Gilmore, Graves’ office said in a press release.
He has served the MPD for the past 15 years, according to The Washington Post.
The incident occurred at approximately 2:45 a.m. on Aug. 25, 2021, after the MPD responded to the area of Florida Avenue and New York Avenue, NE, for a report of a vehicle that was blocking traffic at an intersection, WRC reported.
Callers said the driver seemed to be either asleep or unconscious.
Officers located Gilmore behind the wheel of a running BMW that was sitting in the driving lane, WDVM reported.
Police said in a critical incident briefing that Gilmore was unresponsive.
His foot was on the brake pedal and a “visible handgun” was tucked into his waistband, according to investigators.
Additional officers were called to the scene and police subsequently approached the suspect’s vehicle using a bullet-resistant ballistic shield for cover at about 3:06 a.m., bodycam footage showed.
“He’s waking up,” an officer repeatedly warned. “Watch the hands!”
One of the officers knocked on Gilmore’s window, at which point the BMW moved forward, the video showed.
They immediately ordered him to stop.
Gilmore initially complied, then began driving forward again as one of the officers repeatedly warned everyone to “watch his hands,” bodycam footage showed.
Just as Gilmore’s vehicle started to move forward, Sgt. Jervic fired his duty weapon multiple times, hitting Gilmore, the MPD said.
It is unclear if Gilmore made any motion towards the firearm in his waistband before the sergeant fired at him.
No other officers fired their weapons.
The BMW continued traveling forward a short distance before coming to a stop in the unit block of New York Avenue, NE.
Officers pulled Gilmore from the car and began “immediate lifesaving efforts” before he was rushed to a local hospital by emergency medical personnel, the MPD said.
Gilmore ultimately succumbed to his wounds at the hospital.
Police said they recovered Gilmore’s gun from his waistband at the scene.
MPD Chief Robert Contee said at the time that the shooting appeared to be in violation of the agency’s policies prohibiting officers from shooting at moving vehicles, according to The Washington Post.
The fatal officer-involved shooting was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Washington Field Office, Graves’ office said in the press release.
The indictment alleged Sgt. Jervic violated Gilmore’s civil rights by “willfully depriving” him of “his right to be free from the use of excessive force.”
A second count charged Sgt. Jervic with using a firearm to commit second-degree murder, while count three charged him with second-degree murder.
The veteran officer faces a maximum of life in prison if he is convicted.
“We thoroughly investigate every incident where one of our fellow citizens dies during an interaction with law enforcement,” Graves said. “We have found that most officers use force only when necessary. In these investigations, we follow the evidence and the law. In the overwhelming majority of these cases, criminal charges would not be appropriate.”
“But when an officer willfully disregards the safety of a citizen he is sworn to protect, he violates the trust placed in him by virtue of his badge,” the prosecutor continued. “Today’s indictment reinforces that we will hold officers who commit civil rights violations accountable.”
Sgt. Jervic pleaded not guilty to the charges on March 7, WRC reported.
He was subsequently released on his own recognizance and placed on the federal court system’s High Intensity Supervision Program, which includes GPS monitoring and a nightly curfew, according to The Washington Post.
Sgt. Jervic has been on paid administrative leave since the fatal officer-involved shooting occurred.
The MPD told WDVM in a statement that the department has “supported the independent and through review process” conducted by Graves’ office.
“Today, they announced a decision to indict the involved MPD member, Sergeant Enis Jervic,” the department noted. “In the indictment, the officer has been charged with a federal civil rights violation and second-degree murder. We are confident that the subsequent criminal proceedings will be deliberated fairly, and do recognize this is a difficult matter for everyone involved.”
Gilmore’s family has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and Sgt. Jervic, The Washington Post reported.