FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — The United States Park Police (USPP) officer who is accused of accidentally shooting and killing a fellow officer while off duty appeared before a judge this morning.
Fairfax County police said that 25-year-old Alexander Roy of Mclean accidentally shot and killed fellow USPP Officer Jesse Brown Hernandez, 22. Police said that Roy “dry fired” the gun inside an apartment, thinking it wasn’t loaded.
At about 12:20 a.m., police responded to the 1700 block of Old Meadow Road in McLean for the report of a person who had been shot. Hernandez died at the scene.
Police said three off-duty officers and a fourth person had been inside the apartment when the shooting occurred early Sunday morning, and that alcohol was involved.
Hernandez’s family was in court as Roy appeared via video monitor from the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
Roy requested a public defender and said that he was unsure of his employment status with USPP. The judge granted the request, though Roy said his parents were helping him hire a lawyer.
The judge mistakenly read lesser charges aloud to Roy, sparking a reaction from Hernandez’s family members. The prosecutor quickly interjected that the incorrect charges in the system were due to a technological error.
Roy faces one count of unlawful shooting in an occupied dwelling resulting in death. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in person and/or a $2,500 fine.