A former Pentagon police officer who shot two suspected burglars dead in 2021 while he was off-duty has pleaded guilty after making a deal with prosecutors.
David Dixon, 42, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder charges and may face up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced in November. He was accused of killing Dominique Williams, 32, and 38-year-old James Johnson. A third man, Michael Thomas, 36, survived the shooting.
Dixon entered his guilty plea after a previous case ended in mistrial, when a Montgomery County jury failed to reach a verdict.
Maryland State’s Attorney John McCarthy described Dixon’s conduct as “outrageous” in a statement to FOX 5 D.C.
“We don’t have the death penalty in Maryland. And you’re not permitted for – for relatively minor car – crimes; we don’t allow you to take human life. That’s a standard that we stand by. The law doesn’t allow that,” said McCarthy, the lead prosecutor for the county. “There are punishments and penalties for committing crime, not summary execution, which is what happened in this case.”
The shooting happened on April 7, 2021 at the Takoma Park condominium parking lot. Dixon had told investigators he thought the victims were breaking into a car and tried to make a citizen’s arrest. Prosecutors said Dixon shot into the back of a fleeing vehicle five times, striking Williams and Johnson.
McCarthy told FOX 5 that Dixon first drove past the men in the back parking lot of his condo building at 7333 New Hampshire Ave. in Takoma Park. The prosecutor said Dixon then maneuvered his car to block the car Thomas was driving head-on with his vehicle.
Dixon made no attempt to call police before he exited his vehicle with what surveillance video showed to be his gun drawn. The video showed Dixon running after the Lexus as it reversed and firing a total of five shots as the car moved forward, passed him, and drove off.
During the trial, prosecutors released surveillance footage of Thomas bringing Williams and Johnston to a hospital that was 25 minutes away from the scene of the shooting.
“We’re relieved that Mr. Dixon has accepted responsibility for his actions, and now we’re prayerful and will remain prayerful that the Montgomery County justice system will handle his sentencing justly and appropriately,” said Marcus Kornegay, the attorney representing the families of the men killed.
The double fatal shooting occurred a year after Dixon was charged with assault in an unrelated case. McCarthy said Dixon had previously been warned against taking matters into his own hands.
An attorney for Dixon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A Pentagon Force Protection Agency spokesperson told FOX 5 in a statement, “The Pentagon Force Protection Agency is aware that former Pentagon Police Officer David Dixon pled guilty to the 2nd Degree murder charges from the incident at his apartment complex on April 7, 2021. We are saddened that this tragic incident occurred, and our hearts continue to go out to the families of the victims.”
Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.