Teen shot; 61-year-old suspect hospitalized after shootout with Fairfax County police

Two people are in the hospital, and one officer was grazed by a bullet in a Thursday morning shootout in Falls Church, Virginia.

County police and Fairfax County sheriff’s deputies responded to an apartment complex in the 2000 block of Peach Orchard Drive around 10:50 a.m. after receiving a report that a teenager had been shot, police Chief Edwin Roessler said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

The teen told 911 he had been shot in the face and that the shooter was actively trying to break into his room.

Police “immediately started negotiations with those inside the apartment,” Roessler said. “However, the suspect was still armed with a firearm and was actively trying to attack the victim again.”

“To save the life of the victim, the brave law enforcement officers formed a reaction team and made immediate entry into the apartment,” the police chief said.

Roessler said the officers were fired upon once they entered.

“There was an exchange of gunfire, and brave law enforcement officers were able to render the situation safe,” Roessler said, without elaborating. “I am blessed that our officers and deputies are OK. They are heroes.”

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue medics transported the victim and the suspect, a 61-year-old Falls Church man, to a hospital for treatment.

Roessler said the victim is expected to survive, and the suspect was in surgery. Roessler later told WTOP’s Mike Murillo that the suspect is expected to survive as well.

The officer who was grazed by a bullet in the exchange of gunfire was treated at the scene.

“Information pertaining to the man’s identity and to the charges he will face will be made publicly available when the arrest warrants are served,” a news release said.

The two officers in the shootout are 20-year and 18-year veterans of the the department. Per policy they have been placed on administrative leave.

An administrative investigation by the police department’s Internal Affairs Bureau will be conducted, as well as an independent review by the Police Auditor.

Roessler said the names of the officers will be released within 10 days.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800.

Below is a map of the area where the shooting happened.

WTOP’s Mike Murillo and Colleen Kelleher contributed to this report. 

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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