Husband tells 911 he shot man stabbing wife, as Fairfax Co. police investigation continues

Police in Fairfax County, Virginia, are investigating a deadly stabbing and shooting inside a house in the Herndon area Friday morning.

It happened in the 13200 block of Stable Brook Way.

Fairfax County police Chief Kevin Davis said an au pair, who lives in the house, called 911 around 7:45 a.m., but the call quickly got disconnected. Around 15 minutes later, the au pair called 911 again and gave the phone to a man, who told the dispatcher he had just shot a man who was stabbing his wife.

When police arrived, they found 39-year-old Joseph Nathan Ryan, of Springfield, shot dead, and 37-year-old Christine Ann Banfield with stab wounds. Banfield was taken to the hospital, where she died.

Davis said Ryan does not live in the home, but he did not force his way in. Davis added that Ryan knew Banfield, her husband and the au pair. Police are still working to determine why he was there.

Davis also said investigators have not confirmed whether what Banfield’s husband told 911 is what actually happened.

Banfield’s husband, 38, who police did not identify, declined to speak with police.

“We believe that all the persons responsible for what happened here today are known to us and were inside the home. Again, two inside the home are dead, and the other two persons were present, as well,” Davis said.

The 22-year-old au pair, who called police initially, is cooperating with detectives.

A 4-year-old girl, who police said is the child of Banfield and her husband, was also at the home when it happened. She’s being taken care of by police, with help from other family members.

“We’re going to do what’s right by that child. The truest victim of all is that 4-year-old,” Davis said.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report. 

Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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