Video Appears to Show Navy Official Pointing Gun at People

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy Karnig Ohannessian (Navy Photo)
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy Karnig Ohannessian (Navy Photo)

BURKE, Va. — U.S. Navy officials and local police are looking into an incident caught on video that appears to show a high-ranking Navy official pointing a gun at people during a confrontation in a northern Virginia neighborhood.

In video obtained by CBS News, a man who appears to be Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy Karnig Ohannessian stands on a sidewalk in front of a two-story suburban home, arguing with a group of young men, telling them to leave and pointing a gun at them. Meanwhile, a woman tries to calm him, telling him to get in the house and at one point, pushing his arm down and away from the men.

Fairfax County police officers responded to reports of disorderly conduct and a man brandishing a gun on June 11 in a Burke neighborhood, but the alleged victims had left by the time they arrived, police spokeswoman Officer Megan Hawkins said by telephone Wednesday. It was reported that during an argument on the street with adults who came from a nearby house, a 49-year-old man was seen pointing a gun at several people, police said in a statement.

Two days later, after a 24-year-old man filed a report about the incident, police said officers went to the suspect's home and arrested him, but the magistrate's office declined to issue a warrant for brandishing a firearm. Hawkins did not identify the man since the warrant was declined.

The criminal investigation is active and ongoing, police said, and the lead investigating officer will consult with the commonwealth's attorney about potential charges.

Ohannessian just shook his head when a reporter asked him outside his home Wednesday morning whether he had anything to say about the incident.

Ohannessian's biography on the Navy's website states that he is a principal policy adviser to the assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment and the recipient of two Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Awards.

In a statement, Rear Adm. Dawn Cutler, Navy Chief of Information, said officials are aware of the incident and video. "Mr. Ohannessian's supervisor is taking the appropriate action, to include working to understand the full details of what occurred."

Neighbors said there was a raucous party on the block that night. Timothy Keating, a retired Army officer, said he had to ask the hosts to move a car parked in front of his driveway.

"It wasn't a nice scene for a family neighborhood," Keating said of the party.

There was no immediate response to a message left at the county commonwealth attorney's office.

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