CRIME

Officer fired for shooting unarmed man

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The police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man in Fairfax County has been fired.

David Masters was shot and killed nearly two years ago by a Fairfax County police officer on Route 1 in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County. The officer, 28-year-old David Ziants has been fired.

The victim’s former wife Gail Masters says it's like re-living the anger, pain and nightmare all over again. She keeps the text message she sent her ex-husband's phone that terrible afternoon asking, “Are you home?” He was already dead.

“I was trying to get in touch with him... trying to find out where he was," Masters said. "Dave was my life, even though we were divorced, we were together everyday"

On November 13th, 2009, officers got a call of someone stealing flowers from a nursery and a separate report of a stolen vehicle. Mistaking masters as a suspect, police pulled him over. He was unarmed.

The 52-year-old Masters suffered from bipolar disorder. When his truck started slowly rolling away, the police officer opened fire, striking the former Green Beret twice.

The police department has concluded an 18-month probe, but the Fairfax Commonwealth Attorney ruled that the shooting did not warrant criminal charges. No one could be reached at Ziants home Tuesday night.

During the investigation, Ziants claimed he thought Masters had struck another officer with his vehicle. In a statement, the police department said Tuesday, "The lengthy and comprehensive internal investigation concluded Pfc. David Ziants' actions were not in compliance with departmental policies on the performance of duty and use of force."

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