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Video Shows Senior Navy Official Pointing Gun at Young Men

Karnig Ohannessian is a principal policy adviser to the assistant secretary of the Navy

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    U.S. Navy
    Karnig H. Ohannessian, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Environment).

    A high-ranking official in the U.S. Navy is accused of pointing a gun at people in a confrontation caught on video outside his home in Northern Virginia.

    A man who appears to be Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy Karnig Ohannessian is shown on video obtained by CBS News pointing a gun at a group of young men and telling them to leave.

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    "Their timing couldn't have been better in my opinion, I mean everybody wants to celebrate," said Kyle Steele, a customer at the drive-thru.

    (Published Friday, April 21, 2017)

    The incident occurred outside a home on Bestwicke Court in Burke, Fairfax County police said. That two-story house is owned by Ohannessian, property records show. 

    The video shows a middle-aged man wearing shorts and a T-shirt pointing a gun at a younger man and whoever is recording the incident.

    “Get in the car,” he repeatedly shouts.

    Someone can be heard saying, "You’re pointing a gun at my friend. This is a criminal offense. So, please stop it.”

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    During the confrontation, a middle-aged woman standing near the man with the gun uses a cellphone and appears to try to calm the man.

    "Let them leave," she says.

    “I can shoot the f--- out of you guys right now,” the man with the gun shouts.

    Police said they received three 911 calls about the incident that occurred Saturday, June 11. Police responded about 8:15 p.m. for a report of a man brandishing a gun. The alleged victims were gone by the time police arrived.

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    As the investigation was underway two days later, a 24-year-old man went to the West Springfield District Police station and filed a report about the incident. Police arrested a 49-year-old man. He was released after the magistrate determined a lack of probable cause and declined to issue an arrest warrant.

    The investigation is ongoing.

    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.

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    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 that 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.

    Police will speak with the Commonwealth's Attorney for Fairfax County about potential charges. There was no immediate response to a message left at the attorney's office.

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