Shots fired at Fairfax Co. police cruiser

GREAT FALLS, Va. — Fairfax County police are searching for the person or people who fired several shots at an officer’s cruiser after an attempted traffic stop.

These suspects attempted to murder a police officer, and I beg for your help,” said Police Chief Ed Roessler in a press conference Monday afternoon.

After the officer attempted to pull over an older-model, four-door white sedan before midnight Monday for running a red light on Georgetown Pike, near Ad Hoc Road, the driver took off.

“For a brief moment, while the vehicle stopped, a passenger exited out of the car and ran away,” said Roessler.

The suspect vehicle — which police describe as a late 1990s or early 2000s model, possibly a Toyota or a Mazda, with black molding on the doors — drove a short distance and turned around on a side street, driving back in the direction of the officer.

“The next thing the officer knew, the officer was taking  gun fire. We can verify at least two of the rounds struck the cruiser,” Roessler said.

The officer was uninjured.

“Cruiser video was blurry because of the weather, but they could make out the driver was firing through the car’s windshield, at the cruiser,” said police spokeswoman Monica Meeks.

The white sedan was last seen traveling west on Georgetown Pike, she said.

Police are asking the public’s help in finding the suspect vehicle, which would have substantial damage to the front windshield, and perhaps damage to the front passenger window.

They do not know the gender of either the driver or the passenger who left the car, nor do officers know if anyone else was inside the car at the time. Roessler did not want to release details about the officer involved other than he is uninjured.

“Hopefully this was not a targeting ambush situation of the officer, and I need to vet through that process,” he said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the police at 703-691-2131.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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