John Geer was killed a year and a half ago, but it wasn’t until a judge ordered officials in Fairfax County, Virginia, to release 11,000 pages of documents earlier this year, detailing their 17-month cover-up of the case, that details of his homicide by police became known.
Owner of a local kitchen design business in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, John B. Geer, 46, stood with his hands on top of the storm door of his Springfield, Va., townhouse in broad daylight and calmly told four Fairfax County police officers who had their handguns pointed at him: “I don’t want anybody to get shot. . . . And I don’t wanna get shot, ’cause I don’t want to die today,” reported Tom Jackman of the Washington Post on Jan. 31.
How and why Geer died that afternoon in August, 2013, after police responded to a reported domestic dispute at his home, remained a mystery for 17 months. But the documents released Jan. 30 “paint a vivid picture of a tense 44-minute showdown,” Jackman of the Post reports, after officers were called by Geer’s live-in partner of 24 years, Maura Harrington, another woman who has now learned what can happen if you seek police help with a non-violent domestic dispute.
The files also reveal for the first time why the Fairfax prosecutor shifted the case to the U.S. attorney’s office: an internal affairs investigation into a loud, angry “meltdown” suffered earlier by the shooter, officer Adam Torres, in the Fairfax County Courthouse. In that incident, five months before the Geer shooting, Torres repeatedly cursed an assistant county prosecutor who said there were problems with Torres’ investigation of a drunk-driving case, and stormed out of the courthouse.