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'Troubled' gunman kills officer at Va. station

Detective Vicky O. Armel (left) was killed Monday when Michael Kennedy (right) opened fire outside the Fairfax County, Va., Police Department. 

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Va. station attack

(AP Photo/Fairfax County, Va. Police Department)

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The Associated Press

CHANTILLY, Virginia- A heavily armed teenager was targeting police when he opened fire outside a suburban Washington police station, killing a detective and seriously wounding two officers, officials said.

The 18-year-old had been crouched between two vehicles in the Sully District Station's parking lot Monday afternoon when he began firing, police said. He died in the exchange of gunfire, Officer Bud Walker said.

"All information points to the act of a lone, troubled individual -- not a conspiracy, not the act of terrorism," Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald Connolly said. "It would appear that the gunman specifically targeted our police."

The slain detective, a nine-year veteran of the department, was the first officer killed by an assailant in the 66-year history of the Fairfax County Police Department, officials said.

The gunman, who was not immediately identified, was armed with a rifle and two handguns, said police spokeswoman Mary Ann Jennings. She the teenager had tried unsuccessfully to carjack a pickup truck before stealing a van and driving it to the station.

A 53-year-old officer who was shot was in critical condition Tuesday after undergoing surgery. It was not clear whether the other wounded officer, a 28-year-old man, was shot or sustained his injuries from flying glass or a ricocheting bullet.

This is a difficult day for us," police Chief David Rohrer said learning the detective had died. "She was an exemplary detective for us. We love her greatly."

The shooting touched off hours of gridlock and confusion in the area as roads were blocked and nearby buildings, including a high school, were locked down as police sought other possible suspects before determining there was only one gunman.


News release issued by the department:

Fairfax County Police Department
Public Information Office
4100 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, Va. 22030
703-246-2253. TTY 703-204-2264. Fax 703-246-4253

May 9, 2006

Update on Fatal Police Shooting

Investigation has determined that the sequence of events leading up to Monday’s shooting began with an attempted carjacking. The Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) received a call at 3:37 p.m. that a heavily-armed man attempted to carjack a Ford pickup truck in the 14800 block of Bodley Square in the London Towne community in the Centreville area. At 3:45 p.m. DPSC received a second report that a Chevrolet minivan had been carjacked in the 6200 block of Paddington Lane. This is one block away from the first reported incident. The description of the suspect for both incidents was similar, a white man wearing a black mask dressed in camouflage clothing and armed with several weapons.  At 3:52 p.m. reports of gunfire at the Sully District Station were received.

The suspect drove the minivan into the parking lot of the police station, exited the minivan and immediately began firing on officers. The first officer struck had been parking his cruiser when he was shot more than a five times and critically injured. Detective Vicky O. Armel was in the process of responding to a radio broadcast of the carjacking when the suspect confronted her in the parking lot. She exchanged gunfire with the suspect and was mortally wounded after being shot multiple times. Three more officers exchanged gunfire with the suspect before killing him. In all, the suspect fired over 70 rounds at officers. He was armed with an AK-47 assault-style weapon, a long-barreled, high-powered rifle and five handguns. He carried an extensive amount of ammunition.

Detective Armel, 40, was a nine-year veteran of the Department who worked in the Criminal Investigations Section at the Sully District Station. She leaves behind a husband and two children. In keeping with Departmental police, her home address will not be released.

Identification of the injured officers is not being released. The hospitalized officer is still in critical condition.

The suspect has been identified as Michael Kennedy, 18, of 6200 Prince Way in Centreville.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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