An armed man who was being sought in connection with a burglary was shot and killed by Prince William County police officers Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
Police said the man, whom they did not immediately identify, had a handgun and refused repeated commands to drop it. He was shot as he moved toward officers who had tracked him into the woods, police said.
The series of incidents that led to the shooting began shortly before noon Wednesday, when a man returning to his Woodbridge home interrupted a burglary, according to Officer Jonathan Perok, a Prince William police spokesman. The burglar ran away, and the homeowner was able to describe the getaway car that the man had hopped into, police said.
Police said a lookout was issued for the car, and officers pulled it over when they spotted it just after 1:30 p.m. in Triangle, about five miles from the scene of the burglary. The driver, a woman, was taken into custody, police said. But the man in the passenger’s seat ran into the nearby woods.
Officers chased the man but lost sight of him, Perok said. A police dog soon led officers to a ravine just off Jefferson Davis Highway.
There, authorities said, officers found the man holding a gun. Perok said the man was “ordered several times” to drop the weapon, but he refused. Officers had formed a perimeter around the area, Perok said, and were concerned about the safety of those on the nearby road.
Police said in a statement that the man was shot as he “began to advance” on officers. Perok did not identify the officers who shot the man or say how many officers were involved. More than one officer fired shots, Perok said, and the suspect did not fire his gun.
The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave with pay during the investigation, as is routine in such cases, Perok said.
No charges were immediately filed against the woman who was driving, Perok said.
The incident marks the fifth time this month that police officers in the Washington area were involved in fatal shootings. Two of the other incidents involved Prince George’s County officers, one involved District police and one involved Takoma Park police.