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Off-Duty Police Commander Shoots Gunman At DC Wharf

Washington, DC – An off-duty DC police commander fatally shot a man he saw pointing a gun at a restaurant on the city’s Wharf on Saturday night.

Officials said that DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Commander Jason Bagshaw was leaving dinner at a restaurant along the promenade at about 9 p.m. on July 16 when he spotted a man pointing a gun at a restaurant, The Washington Post reported.

Police are investigating whether Cmdr. Bagshaw may have interrupted an armed robbery in the 800-block of Wharf Street, SW.

Officials said the 20-year veteran of the DC police force was with his wife, who is also a DC police officer, The Washington Post reported.

Police said they both “voiced a command for the suspect to drop the firearm and the suspect did not comply.”

Cmdr. Bagshaw shot the armed man twice, according to police officials.

The gunman has been identified as 23-year-old Lazarus David Wilson of Dumfries, Virginia, The Washington Post reported.

Police said Wilson had gone to the Wharf with a friend and gotten into an altercation with a group of men.

One of the men in that group was grazed by a bullet, according to police.

Officers recovered a bag containing $30,000 in cash with Wilson’s body, The Washington Post reported.

They also recovered Wilson’s semiautomatic handgun.

One of Wilson’s friends said he may have been at the Wharf to purchase a watch.

DC Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said a security camera captured footage that showed an “individual pointing a gun” before Cmdr. Bagshaw fired his weapon.

Police have not yet said whether Wilson pointed his gun at Cmdr. Bagshaw before he was shot or if the officer identified himself as law enforcement to the gunman, The Washington Post reported.

Cmdr. Bagshaw, who runs MPD’s Special Operations Division, has been placed on paid administrative leave while the officer-involved shooting is investigated.

He was not wearing a bodycam when he shot Wilson because he wasn’t on duty, The Washington Post reported.

The police commander has been the recipient of numerous awards from the police department.

Cmdr. Bagshaw also infuriated activists during that George Floyd riots in 2020 and was featured in a number of videos featuring confrontations between police and protesters, The Washington Post reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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