A man armed with a shotgun fatally shot his mother and nephew and exchanged gunfire with police who had responded to a Burke, Virginia, house, sparking a standoff for several hours overnight, authorities said.
The man, identified Tuesday evening as 36-year-old Marcellus William Bounds IV, was later found dead inside the house on Wicklow Drive with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Fairfax County Police Ed Roessler said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
The shooting victims were identified as Patricia Marie Bounds, 67, and 19-year-old Sean Patrick Bailes.
Two Fairfax County police officers, who responded to the house, suffered minor injuries from shrapnel from a shotgun round fired by the man, Roessler said.
The two injured officers have been treated and released, Roessler said.
The “horrific violence” began about 9:10 p.m. when the man’s mother called 911 to report a domestic disturbance at the house in the 6100 block of Wicklow Drive, the chief said. The woman said a family member was threatening her with a gun. The call taker heard the woman being shot over the phone, the chief said.
Officers arrived at the house within three minutes, Roessler said. By that time, police believe, the man had also shot his nephew, who was hiding in a bathroom.
Another nephew was able to escape and ran to a neighbor’s house to call for help, the chief said.
It was when officers were approaching the home’s sliding glass door at the back of the home that the man advanced on them and opened fire.
“They did as they were trained. They announced their presence and at the same time he was coming right at them with the shotgun,” Roessler said. The officers were protected by a ballistic shield but were still struck by the shrapnel. “The shield did what it was designed to do, and I thank God for that,” Roessler added.
One of the officers returned fire several times, the chief said. That officer, identified only as a veteran officer, has been placed on administrative duty, which is routine after the use of deadly force, Roessler said.
After firing on the officers, the man retreated back inside the house. At that point, authorities called in a SWAT team to attempt to negotiate with the man, which proved unsuccessful.
It was another several hours before SWAT team got inside the house and found the man dead inside. Roessler said the man had an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, but said the medical examiner would provide the official cause of death.
The chief did not say whether the man was hit by any of the gunfire from police. “We did fire several rounds to stop his deadly force, so that’s yet to be determined,” he said.
Roessler said there was evidence of “an ongoing family issue that escalated” before the shooting. He told reporters he didn’t know whether police had been called to the house before, and the police haven’t said who lived there.
Detectives are still at the house gathering evidence. “This is going to probably take weeks to get the full picture,” Roessler said.