The episode happened in Maryland on Wednesday.
David Hall Dixon, a Pentagon Force Protection Agency police officer who was off duty at the time of a deadly shooting in Maryland, has been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly murdering two individuals, Takoma Park police said Friday.
The victims were identified by the Takoma Park authorities as Dominique Williams, 32, and James Lionel Johnson, 38.
The shooting occurred in a parking lot early Wednesday, according to authorities.
Shortly after 5 Wednesday, Takoma Park police responded to reports of shots fired in the parking lot area of the Takoma Overlook Condominiums, according to a department news release issued Wednesday.
An off-duty Pentagon Force Protection Agency officer approached the Takoma Park police and said he'd seen what he believed was an automobile break-in and"participated the suspects who neglected to follow his direction," according to the Wednesday release.
When the"supposes" tried to"flee" at a car, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency officer"discharged his service weapon," Takoma Park police said Wednesday.
"Our investigation revealed that Mr. Dixon's summary of events was inconsistent with all the facts in the situation," DeVaul said. "And Mr. Dixon had no lawful or justifiable motive to shoot and kill Mr. Williams and Mr. Johnson."
Williams and Johnson were both shot at the back, and authorities"believe they were in the vehicle" at the time of this shooting, one of the lead detectives on the case, Charles Earle, stated Friday.
He said there's video of this episode, which he said is"clear ," and that the investigation is continuing as to whether there was a weapon in the car.
According to charging documents obtained by ABC News, Dixon supposedly told officers that he fired following the car, a Lexus,"gassed it" and"almost tried to run him over." Though surveillance video of the incident allegedly revealed Dixon fire several times at the car once it passed him and"no longer posed a direct threat that would have justified the use of lethal force," according to the documents.
The driver of the car allegedly left Williams and Johnson from the Lexus facing a local hospital, where staff determined the two were dead upon birth, according to the charging papers.
Dixon was also charged with second-degree attempted murder of Michael Thomas, 36 -- the driver of the automobile he taken into, authorities said Friday.
Additionally, he faces counts using a handgun in the commission of a felony and for reckless endangerment, police said.
"We do not believe that Mr. Dixon had any law enforcement powers at the state of Maryland. However, like I said, it isn't associated with his occupation with the Pentagon police," he said. "He had been behaving as a citizen in the state of Maryland."
But at a virtual press conference after Friday afternoon, David Haynes, a lawyer for Johnson's family, said he did not accept that characterization.
"We also do not accept the theory that he was acting as a private citizen," Haynes said. "We consider that this is a shooting police officer, officers under their general orders and their directives and their schooling are not off duty."
"James was the father of three young kids, and he and Dominique were needlessly taken from us, and shot and murdered in cold blood, for no reason, without a justification," Haynes explained. "Neither of them presented any threat of physical violence, or bodily harm to Pentagon police officer David Hill Dixon."
DeVaul said during the question and answer portion of the press conference Friday that the analysis showed that the victims"were breaking into vehicles," though he said there is"no intention of charging the survivor."
"We have not got any credible info about that initially," Haynes explained. "Our investigation is continuing, but regardless of whether or not there was an alleged property crime that might or might not have been continuing earlier that in no way justifies the use of deadly force at all, or serious deadly force, so regardless of whether this was or was not happening this shooting was by no means justified."
The Pentagon released a statement Friday saying that Dixon"stays in an administrative leave position pending the results of an internal administrative investigation"
"Understanding the seriousness of this problem and their responsibilities, we're running a stand-down with our officers to ensure they have a complete comprehension of their off duty responsibilities, and examine our use of force policy and jurisdictional considerations," the Pentagon statement said.
Johnson's cousin, Marcus Kornegay, said during a Zoom press conference Friday that his family is suffering a"tragic loss."
"He had been a father, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, and a friend of many, and he treated everyone that crossed his path with respect and love, such as they were family," Kornegay said. "And we are just as a family really struggling with this, trying to place logic about why he was removed from usmissing his power, missing his voice."
John McCarthy, the state's attorney for Montgomery County, said Dixon is being held without bond and his next hearing will be at 1 p.m. Monday in the district court at Rockville, Maryland.