In September, Army veteran Patrick Casey died after a fight outside a McDonald’s near Dupont Circle. His death was ruled a homicide, but after an initial flurry of attention, police said evidence showed Casey was likely the aggressor in the brawl.
Today, the U.S. Attorney’s office says it won’t press charges in the case, and police are calling it a “justifiable homicide by citizen,” the Washington Post reports.
“The U.S. attorney’s office worked with [D.C. police detectives] in investigating all the facts and circumstances surrounding Mr. Casey’s death,” office spokesman Bill Miller said. The office “determined there is insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges related to the death of Mr. Casey.”
Gwendolyn Crump, a D.C. police spokeswoman, declined to comment, referring questions to the U.S. attorney’s office. Two law enforcement sources, who were not authorized to speak about the case, said the department has closed its investigation, classifying Casey’s death as a “justifiable homicide by citizen.”
Prosecutors made the decision formal in a letter to police last week, the sources said.
The U.S. attorney’s office met with Casey’s family to inform them of its decision in November, Miller said. “They expressed their deepest condolences to the family for the tragic loss of Mr. Casey in this unfortunate incident,” Miller said.
On Tuesday, Casey’s parents said they were not aware that police had closed the case.
“We’re still trying to get a clear understanding of what happened and a better understanding of how the police conducted their investigation,” said Paul Casey, Casey’s father, who said the family had sought legal counsel. “We still have questions we need answered.”
Casey, 33, was a graduate student at George Washington University and had served in Afghanistan. A memorial was held on Oct. 6.