CA rules fatal police shooting at NECA training center justified after stabbing attack

Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Amy Ashworth ruled a fatal police shooting at a union worker training center justified.

An independent criminal investigation into the shooting and the moments that led up to shots fired on Feb. 13, 2024, an alteration began in a classroom inside the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). In this apprenticeship training center, several students had assembled for a class.

In a seemingly unprovoked attack, the suspect, Philip Austin Brant, 26, of Woodbridge, approached one victim, identified as a 23-year-old Fairfax man, and pulled a knife from a backpack before repeatedly stabbing the victim. The other students present inside the room dispersed as the victim attempted to separate from Brant, who continued the attack.

At one point, Brant exited the classroom where he encountered and repeatedly stabbed a second victim, 23-year-old Elijah Islam Safadi of Manassas, in a hallway. As officers arrived, Brant moved to the front entrance lobby of the building, where he eventually encountered officers who shot him, according to details released in a March 28, 2024, police report.

The initial stabbing victim collapsed inside the classroom where the altercation began, while Safadi exited the building before collapsing in the parking lot. Emergency crews rushed both to area hospitals with multiple stab wounds, where Safadi died from his injuries. The surviving victim suffered critical injuries.

The investigation was conducted by the regional Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT), which is comprised of investigators from multiple law enforcement agencies in Northern Virginia. No members of the Prince William County Police Department were involved in the investigation led by CIRT.

Here’s the full report.

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