VIRGINIA

John Geer: Springfield man killed, neighbors wonder if shooting was warranted

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SPRINGFIELD, Va. (WJLA) -- One day after 46-year-old John Geer was shot and killed by police at his Springfield townhome, friends have no choice but to clean up what’s left.

"it's just a tragedy all around" said Edith Eshelman.

"He was a nice guy; if you needed him to help, he was always there," said George Gifford.

Both George Gifford and Edith Eshelman were neighbors of Geer and his family for more than 20 years.

"I'm upset and concerned about the results," said Gifford. "He's dead and his girls won't have a dad."

Both of Geer’s teenage daughters were in Gifford’s home as the stand-off escalated, and as the wave of vehicles and armed personnel descended upon the neighborhood, area residents were shocked.

"I don't know if anyone was threatened, I tend to think not," said one neighbor. "I just don't think what transpired…that kind of force…was warranted. It's a little over the edge for me."

Fairfax Police got a call on Thursday at approximately 2:40 p.m. of a domestic dispute on the 7900 block of Pebble Brook Court. According to Geer’s father, who did not want to speak on camera, Geer had been throwing his estranged wife’s belongings into the front yard, so she called 911 – telling police that Geer had guns in the house.

Negotiators spoke with Geer at his front door for more than 40 minutes, and at one point an officer shot Geer, who had barricaded himself in the home.

"They just continued to tell him: come out, come out, come out," recalled one witness.

Later, a hostage rescue vehicle took down the front door, at which point officers went inside and found Geer dead.

One neighbor said that she had never known Geer to be violent.

In a written statement, Fairfax County Police stated:

"In order to protect the neighborhood, residents, and officers, resources and assets deployed to the incident, including negotiators, were as per protocol in these type of incidents."

"It makes you feel good as a resident of Fairfax county that they have that kind of firepower if you need it, but I wonder in this case whether they did," said one area resident.

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