Demotion for Fairfax Co. police commander over handling of suicides by recruit, wife

Weeks after a Fairfax County Police police recruit and his wife both died by suicide, a county police commander has been demoted.

“While the internal affairs investigation is an administrative matter that remains active, Chief Davis has made changes in leadership with the demotion of the on scene commander,” said Anthony Guglielmi, spokesman for Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis.

Davis launched the probe, focusing on “command and control leadership decision at the scene” of the suicides that occurred hours apart on Feb. 19 at the couple’s Mount Vernon-area home.

The police found the department recruit’s wife shot and also found a number of weapons in the home. She died later at the hospital.

Hours later, police were called to the home and found the recruit shot. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Davis called for the investigation on Feb. 21 to determine whether the guns discovered in the home should have been removed under the commonwealth’s red-flag law, which allows police to confiscate firearms from those who could be a danger to themselves or others without a judge’s permission.

WTOP’s Nardos Mesmer and Scott Gelman contributed to this report. 

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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