- The Washington Times - Friday, July 22, 2011

A Centreville man fatally shot Thursday by Fairfax County police was a Defense Department security officer stationed at the vice president’s mansion who had been hospitalized the previous day due to erratic behavior, coworkers and officials said.

Ed Zeigler, a spokesman for the DOD’s Naval District Washington Police Department, said Ricardo Leon, 34, had worked as a civilian employee with Naval Support Activity Washington since 2003. There he had most recently helped to oversee security at the Naval Observatory and vice presidential compound in Northwest.

Officers from the Fairfax County Police Department fatally shot Mr. Leon Thursday after they were called to his townhouse for a report of a disturbance and he approached the officers with a shotgun in hand, police officials said.

Coworkers said Mr. Leon had been acting so erratically on Wednesday at work that he was hospitalized that morning. Around 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, police and paramedics were called to his home in the 6100 block of Kendra Way for a report of a sick person and he was taken to a hospital to be observed again, police said.

Several hours later at 1:30 a.m. Thursday, Mr. Leon’s wife and a neighbor called police to report a disturbance at the townhouse, Fairfax police spokeswoman Mary Ann Jennings said. When six officers arrived on the scene, several windows to the townhouse had been broken out and they saw Mr. Leon inside the open garage with a shotgun.

“He started to approach them, armed,” Ms. Jennings said. “They issued orders for him to drop his weapon and to stop advancing.”

When Mr. Leon did not comply, several officers fired their service weapons, striking and killing him, she said.
As a former Marine and Iraq veteran, colleagues said Mr. Leon knew the potential consequences of approaching police officers in such a way.

“He would have done the same thing. He always stressed officer safety,” said one colleague, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the incident.

Mr. Leon did not fire his weapon at officers, said Ms. Jennings, who had no further information on the interactions between Mr. Leon and the officers. Four officers involved have all been placed on administrative leave since the shooting. The police department will not release the names of the officers unless they are charged criminally, Ms. Jennings said.

Until the day before his death, coworkers said they never observed any unusual behavior from Mr. Leon, who several described as very religious and in top physical condition.

“He lost a lot of friends in Iraq so he was very grateful for life,” one colleague said.