‘Could have been a whole lot worse’: Videos show man shoot at officers after Northern Va. chase

No other motorists were harmed or struck after a chase that started in Arlington, Virginia, ended with a man shooting at officers at a busy Falls Church intersection. Videos show that what had transpired last month “could have been a whole lot worse.”

That’s what Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said Wednesday at a news conference announcing the release of videos of what happened on Oct. 6.

“This could have been a whole lot worse than it was,” Davis said. “By watching this body-worn camera footage, again, how crowded that intersection was and how very fortunate we are that no other motorists were harmed or worse, and that no civilians or pedestrians were struck either.”

Ricardo Singleton, 27, of Arlington, is accused of opening fire on Arlington police before speeding away. During the pursuit, Davis said Singleton caused several crashes before getting out of the vehicle in the area of U.S. Route 50 and Graham Road and firing five times at police.

(Editor’s note: Some scenes in this video may be upsetting to some viewers.)

The videos show dozens of police cars, from several angles, converging on the intersection.

One video captured by a motorist showed Singleton getting out of his car, and shots could be heard right afterward. A woman can be heard saying, “Oh my God. Get down. Get down. He’s got a gun.”

According to Davis, one officer returned fire, but didn’t strike Singleton. Davis said that officer remains on modified restricted duty.

“When the officer returned fire, he returned fire because his life was in jeopardy and the lives of others nearby, motorists and pedestrians arguably were in jeopardy, as well,” Davis said.

After reviewing all of the videos and audio, Davis said the officers who were involved, who he described as younger officers, followed their training that night; and the videos will be used to train other officers in the future.

After he got out of the car, Singleton ran off and got rid of his weapon and the ammunition magazines that he had with him, which Davis said added to some 90 rounds. Police found him behind a nearby store and arrested him.

Police and deputies had been searching for Singleton for nearly 12 hours that day, starting on North Courthouse Road in Arlington. He ran from Arlington County deputies during the first encounter, until they found him again at a nearby garage.

Arlington County police Chief Charles Penn said in a news conference Oct. 6 that Singleton mentioned “something about needing help.”

During one of the recordings released Wednesday, an officer can be heard saying that Singleton was “suicidal.”

“That radio transmission was made by an Arlington County police officer, who probably, I’m gonna guess a little bit here, was aware of the fact that Arlington County deputy sheriff’s saw Singleton earlier in the day in a car by himself, holding a gun up and saying something to the effect of, ‘I need help,’” Davis said.

The motive behind Singleton’s alleged actions are still under investigation. He faces a total of 12 charges in Fairfax and Arlington counties, including felony eluding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and multiple counts of attempted malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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