Leesburg Shooting Case Results in Insanity Plea

The man who was shot by an employee of the Tire Shop in Leesburg after assaulting three people in December entered insanity pleas to two felony charges today.

Philip Stevens Dugan, 47, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to changes of malicious wounding and attempted malicious wounding. He will be transferred to the custody of the commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Service for a detailed mental health evaluation. In June, he’s expected to be back in Circuit Court to determine whether the insanity claim will be upheld or whether he will face additional jail time sentence.

The altercation happened Dec. 8, 2017. Dugan was at the Sheetz store on Edwards Ferry Road and got into an argument with an employee who was making coffee for him. He threw a part of his vehicle’s ignition interlock system—which prevents intoxicated drivers from starting their vehicles—at her, according to a statement facts presented at the hearing.

He then left the store and walked to the nearby Tire Shop, where he entered a vehicle bay and was smoking. When employees told him he must leave that area, he became agitated and yelled for the police to be called. While the employees called 911, Dugan picked up a ratchet driver and a breaker bar and attempted to strike an employee in the head. Another worker had a handgun at the shop, retrieved it and, fearing Dugan would kill or severely hurt his coworker, shot him.

Dugan then ran to another area of the shop and struck another employee on the side of the head. Employees were able to trap him in a back room until police arrived and he was taken into custody.

Subsequent mental examinations determined that Dugan had a long history of being manic depressive and bi-polar, and of self-medicating with marijuana and alcohol.

Dr. Mark Hastings, of the Loudoun County Department of Mental Health, concluded that Dugan was competent to stand trial, but was not in control at the time of the attacks.

“Mr. Dugan was suffering from an acute manic and psychotic episode related to his Bipolar I Disorder that left him unable to appreciate the true nature, character and consequences of his actions or distinguish right from wrong at the time of the offense,” Hastings wrote.

The more detailed state mental health evaluation is expected to take at least 45 days to complete.

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