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Alexandria cop shot armed, intoxicated man in self-defense, prosecutors say

February 13 at 11:00 AM

An Alexandria, Va., police officer acted in self-defense when he shot an armed man last December, prosecutors said Wednesday. The man he shot is now accused of attempting to attack the officer while drunk and high on multiple drugs.

Michael Ligon, 28, opened fire on North Patrick Street near First Street in Old Town on Dec. 2, according to police. When Officer Michael Vaccaro arrived on scene, police said Ligon pointed his gun at the officer and refused to drop it. Vaccaro responded by firing his weapon.

Ligon was treated at the hospital for serious injuries. The officer was placed on administrative leave while Virginia State Police investigated the shooting.

Ligon has been charged with attempted malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer, discharging a firearm in a public place, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a felon, and public intoxication from alcohol, marijuana, opiates and PCP. If convicted on all charges, he faces at least five and up to 21 years in prison.

Ligon’s public defender did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Michael Ligon, 28. (Alexandria Sheriff’s Office/Alexandria Sheriff’s Office)