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May 14, 2006
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Thousands mourn detective killed in Va. station ambush

Associated Press Writer

VIENNA, Va.- A police detective gunned down outside her police station when a heavily armed teenager opened fire on officers was remembered Saturday for her actions that prevented further tragedy.

Vicky O. Armel was caught in the shootout in the parking lot as she left the Sully District Station on Tuesday. The ambush left the 40-year-old mother of two young children dead and another officer critically injured.

"She was our protector," said Gerald E. Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County board of supervisors, who along with Virginia Public Safety Secretary John W. Marshall presented county and state flags to Armel's husband, Tyler, also a detective.

Officers shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Kennedy who police said fired at least 70 rounds from an AK-47-style assault rifle, a high-powered hunting rifle. Kennedy also carried five handguns.

Kennedy had recently escaped a psychiatric center in Rockville, Md., where he faced carjacking and theft charges.

Armel was the first officer in the 66-year history of the county's police department to be shot and killed in the line of duty.

"Although it's been one of our most difficult weeks, it's been one of my proudest as well," Fairfax Police Chief David M. Rohrer told the crowd of nearly 2,500 packed into McLean Bible Church.

Armel's funeral coincided this year with the annual candlelight vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, where the names of 155 officers killed in the line of duty last year have been newly inscribed.

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