Fairfax County officer shoots armed man in Lorton

A man is in the hospital with life-threatening injuries Tuesday after an officer shot him when he allegedly raised a rifle at police in Lorton, Virginia, Fairfax County police said.

Officers responded shortly after 8 a.m. to calls for a suspicious red van parked in the 8300 block of Fitt Court and encountered an armed man police said had been living inside the van for “some time.”

Sgt. Jason Chandler, with the Fairfax County Police Department, said the shooting happened just before 9 a.m.

Police were going to tow the van, which authorities said had tags stolen out of North Carolina.

Police said body camera video showed the tow truck driver arriving on the scene and then opening the van’s driver-side door.

One of the officers then pushed a button to open the rear driver-side passenger door, police said.

That’s when the man emerged from the vehicle holding a loaded carbine-style 9mm rifle and raised the firearm toward officers.

One officer opened fire.

Multiple neighbors told WTOP they heard three shots. Police could not provide an exact number.

One neighbor said a young man was on the ground screaming.

During a briefing, Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said they learned the man was wanted on firearm and drug charges in Fairfax County after the shooting.

Davis said body camera footage showed that officers told the suspect to drop the gun several times.

He was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries and is now in stable condition. Charges are expected soon. His name has not yet been released.

Davis said the man was “clearly” living out of the van.

“It seems like most if not all of his personal belongings were inside that van,” the chief said. “It seems like, very logically, he took great steps to ensure that there were curtain rods and dark curtains inside the van as well.”

He said he hopes the suspect has a “speedy recovery.”

“We certainly wish him well and his family is undoubtedly concerned about him and they undoubtedly have questions that we hope to answer in the near future as well,” Davis said.

Davis said body camera footage would be released within 30 days.

Below is a map of the area where it happened.

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Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter 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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