Former Washington state cop, 52, arrested in Virginia after he gunned down his black neighbor during an argument
Michael J. Hetle, of Springfield, Virginia was arrested for the murder of his next-door neighbor 24-year-old Javon Prather on Tuesday
Hetle, a NASA executive who also was a police officer, was charged in second degree murder for the fatal shooting of Prather
Prather’s mother says Hetle and her son had argued for years, citing the fights were over dog poop left outside
Prather had been a National Guardsman whose death was mourned by other service members and Maryland’s Gov. Larry Hogan
Hetle had been a cop in Bellevue, where he was involved in two fatal, in-the-line-of-duty shootings and was cleared in both incidents
One of the shootings, however, resulted in Bellevue paying the victim’s family a $75,000 settlement
In a separate incident officer Hetle was disciplined by Bellevue Police Dept for a traffic stop in which an Ethiopian immigrant accused him of racial bias
Victim: Javon Prather, [L-R], who was fatally shot on Tuesday, had been a supermarket worker and a member of the Maryland National Guard. His neighbor, NASA executive Michael Hetle, was charged in the with fatally shooting of Prather on Tuesday
Investigators are seen at the crime scene moments after the fatal shooting. Prather died after being found shot on 7700 block of Bedstraw Court in Springfield, Va., around 4:50pm on Tuesday
First responders who arrived on the scene and treated Prather were unable to save him.
Hetle was taken into custody and charged with second-degree murder, the Post reports.
The shooter Michael J. Hetle, 52, is the executive officer to the associate administrator for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, according to the space agency.
The career civil service man joined the agency in 2010 and served in various positions, before his current post working on risk mitigation for the space agency’s programs and activities as part of the Enterprise Protection Program.
In addition, he conducts outreach for the directorate and ‘interaction activities with all NASA field centers, industry, associations, academia and other government agencies.’
Prior to joining NASA, Hetle had been an officer on the Bellevue Police Department, and he had been involved in two fatal in-the-line-of-duty shootings before his resignation in 2003
In 2001, he shot dead an unarmed Latino man during a domestic violence call, and in 2000 he shot and killed an armed bank robbery suspect.
Hetle was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in both cases, but the family of the unarmed Latino man filed a civil suit against him and the city. The family later settled the suit for $75,000.
Prather’s mother says Hetle and her son had argued for years, citing the fights were over dog poop left outside.
‘He’s been giving my son and his wife problems for a very long time,’ Shavon Prather told NBC4.
Her son, a supermarket worker, had been a member of the Maryland National Guard.
His death was mourned by other service members, as well as Maryland Gov. Lary Hogan.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan mourned Prather’s death as he asked all residents in his state to join send ‘heartfelt prayers’ to the victim’s family