Alexandria police chief offers condolences to family of man shot by officers

February 25, 2013

Alexandria Police Chief Earl L. Cook spoke publicly Monday for the first time since city officers shot and killed a former Marine, saying he wanted to send condolences to the man’s family.

Cook, who called a news conference to talk about the Feb. 18 shooting, explained the process of the investigation, but offered no new details about the incident.

Officers killed Taft Sellers, 30, after responding to a domestic disturbance at the home of one of his relatives in the 3400 block of Duke Street. Police said Sellers had a gun.

“I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the Sellers family,” Cook said. “I have been in contact with the family and offered them my support.”

Cook declined to say whether Sellers pointed or fired his weapon, or how many police officers shot him. He also would not say how many officers were put on leave after the shooting.

Cook said that Alexandria police are conducting a criminal investigation, and that Alexandria’s commonwealth’s attorney will review the case and make a final ruling on whether to file charges.

Once that is completed, the department will conduct an internal investigation to determine whether the officers followed departmental policies.

Cook said it will take “some weeks” for the department to complete its initial investigation.

He added that police-involved shootings in Alexandria are unusual. The last one was about four years ago, and the person survived, Cook said.

Sellers, who grew up in Alexandria, graduated from TC Williams High School in 2001. Friends have remembered him as a friendly, fun-loving person who used to write poetry

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