Fairfax Police Kill Man At Motel

Police said the shooting occurred during a drug probe on Richmond Highway.
Police said the shooting occurred during a drug probe on Richmond Highway. (By James M. Thresher -- The Washington Post)
By Daniela Deane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 25, 2007

Fairfax County police said yesterday that they fatally shot an armed 28-year-old man in a motel parking lot Wednesday night after the man, who was wanted by detectives, failed to obey their orders.

Police said they were serving search warrants in an ongoing drug investigation at the Fairview Motel on Richmond Highway when a car pulled into the parking lot. Randall Leroy Rollins, who was seated in the back seat and produced a gun, was fatally shot by an officer, police said.

"They were attempting to arrest him," said Officer Camille Neville, a spokeswoman for Fairfax police. She said Rollins was "familiar to officers." Police would not say what officers said to him or whether Rollins pointed the gun at them.

Residents of the motel and witnesses to the shooting disputed the police version of events.

Heather Warwick, Rollins's girlfriend, said she, Rollins and a friend had just come back from driving in the District looking at the monuments. Warwick said she and Rollins had moved to the area a few months ago from Grand Rapids, Mich., "to start a new life together."

"We pulled up and there were cops in the parking lot," Warwick said. She said police pulled her and the driver out of the car and placed them against a wall. "Then they started going crazy," she said.

Warwick said police told Rollins not to move. She said she didn't see him move or hear him say anything. "It all happened so fast," said Warwick, 32, sobbing. "They just wanted to kill him."

Warwick, who had been staying at the motel for about a month with Rollins, said he had a gun in his pants but did not pull it out.

"They didn't say anything about him having a gun until after he was dead and they found it on him," she said. Warwick said Rollins carried a gun because he had been shot in North Carolina a few months before she met him.

Rick Jones, who lives nearby and does odd jobs around the motel, said he saw five officers shoot Rollins. "They shot him in the face. He had no eyes and no nose left, and half his face was gone."

Neville said she did not know whether other officers drew their guns but said only one officer, a 13-year veteran of the department, "fired a service weapon." A statement said Rollins was "shot several times" and died at the scene.

The 33-year-old officer is on routine administrative leave. The death was the fourth fatal police shooting in the county in 17 months.

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