John Geer death: Federal prosecutors take over investigation
(WJLA) - Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Morrogh confirms he has asked federal prosecutors to take over the investigation into the officer-involved shooting death of John Geer.
Geer was shot and killed last August following a nearly 50-minute stand-off with police at his townhome in Springfield.
During the course of the months-long investigation, Morrogh says he ran into a conflict of interest, resulting in him reaching out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Federal prosecutors have agreed to take on the case. Morrogh could not detail the nature of the conflict of interest.
Morrogh tells ABC7 News, “I am grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s office for stepping in at my request to continue this investigation and to reach the appropriate conclusion. I am confident that will occur. It is best for an outside agency to take on this case to protect the integrity of the investigation.”
According to Geer’s best friend, Jeff Stewart, Geer and his common-law wife Maura had been having relationship problems and on the morning of Aug. 29, 2013 Maura said she was leaving him.
Geer grew angry and Maura called police, leading to the confrontation with Fairfax police. During the standoff, Stewart says Geer acknowledged to officers he had been drinking and that he did have a gun in the house, but not on him.
An officer shot Geer, who later died inside the home.
Stewart spoke last week with ABC7 expressing frustration with the lack of progress in the investigation.
Stewart said, “I don’t understand the process taking place at this point. I don’t understand why the family, most of all, can’t get answers to what happened, to what was said, to why this officer did what he did.”
Morrogh says a great deal of “leg work” has been done on the case and he is hopeful the investigation moves quickly from this point forward. However, he says, “it is more important to get it right than get it done quickly."