(Updated at 2 p.m. on 5/12/2023) A man from Newport News was killed during a struggle with police in Penn Daw where two officers fired their guns.
No officers were injured in the gunfire, which occured outside a McDonalds (6239 Richmond Highway), but one officer was hospitalized with head injuries from a fight with 38-year-old Brandon Lemagne prior to the shooting, the Fairfax County Police Department said.
“He was fighting for his life, literally,” Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said of the injured officer in a media briefing.
According to the FCPD, the encounter began when that officer got a license plate alert at 4:06 p.m. for a U-Haul truck that had been reported stolen in Richmond on May 3. The officer pulled into the Citgo gas station adjacent to McDonalds when Lemagne stopped the truck at the station and got out.
“He made contact with driver outside the vehicle,” Davis said. “Very shortly thereafter, the assailant — and that’s what I’m calling him — shoved our police officer into the open front driver’s door of the marked police car and was attacking him, was on top of him and was violently assaulting our uniformed Fairfax County police officer.”
At some point during the struggle, the police cruiser was put in reverse and drove backwards until it hit two vehicles parked at McDonalds.
Scanner traffic on Open MHz captured an officer yelling, “He’s got my gun” at 4:07 p.m., followed about 20 seconds later by shouts of “shots fired.”
According to police, two officers — a 24-year veteran and an 8-year veteran from the Mount Vernon District station — responded to the dispatch. The 8-year veteran fired “several rounds,” while the other pulled Lemagne off of the police officer, Davis said.
The 24-year veteran then fired his gun, hitting and killing Lemagne.
“Several shots fired. We got the guy,” an officer told the dispatcher.
The officer’s gun was recovered from the scene, and he was discharged from the hospital a day later.
Describing the incident as “pretty dramatic” and unlike anything he’s seen before, Davis noted that there was body-worn camera and surveillance footage of the incident. A video from what appears to be a cell phone has already been circulated on social media.
This is the second fatal shooting by Fairfax County police this year, after D.C. resident Timothy Johnson was killed outside Tysons Corner Center on Feb. 22.
“All officer involved shootings receive the utmost investigative attention from our internal affairs bureau and major crimes,” Davis said, later adding that “we certainly take the loss of any life very seriously.”
No officers were injured from the gunfire. Updates to follow.
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) May 11, 2023
— Romeo (@RVANOVA01) May 11, 2023
Tysons Blvd was shut down in front of the Ritz-Carlton this afternoon by demonstrators protesting a visit by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Police closed the road between Galleria Drive and Park Run Drive starting around 3:50 p.m., according to a Fairfax Alert.
“A large group has gathered for a demonstration,” the Fairfax County Police Department said. “Officers are in the area to ensure public safety. Please use an alternate route.”
Tysons Blvd is currently closed between Galleria Drive and Park Run Drive. A large group has gathered for a demonstration. Officers are in the area to ensure public safety. Please use an alternate route. pic.twitter.com/l0SMPF0vVr
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) May 2, 2023
According to a flyer posted to Facebook, the D.C., Virginia and Maryland chapters of the Bangladeshi National Party (BNP) organized the demonstration to protest Hasina’s arrival on Saturday (April 29) for a week-long visit to D.C.
The group also held a protest yesterday (Monday) outside the World Bank in D.C.
A video of the protest shows people chanting and holding posters calling for democracy and free elections in Bangladesh.
The daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who helped found Bangladesh when it separated from Pakistan in 1971, Hasina has become the country’s longest-serving prime minister since assuming the position in 2009.
Her government has been accused of suppressing political opponents with election rigging, torture, arbitrary arrests and violent crackdowns on protestors. The BNP, an opposition party to Hasina’s ruling Awami League, has been mobilizing in recent months both within Bangladesh and globally to protest rising fuel prices and arrests of its leaders.
Updated at 11:25 a.m. — All lanes on John Marr Drive and Little River Turnpike have now reopened to traffic, police say.
Earlier: A crash on John Marr Drive in Annandale took down power lines and sent three people to the hospital this morning (Tuesday).
John Marr and Little River Turnpike are closed in both directions at the intersection for an indefinite period of time, as Dominion Energy addresses the downed wires in the street, the Fairfax County Police Department says.
Scanner traffic on Open MHz from around 8:30 a.m. indicates that a vehicle crashed into a pole. A responder from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department observed one victim on the street median.
“We do have one of the transmission lines from the power pole that’s down, that’s hanging. Two poles in both directions will be compromised,” the responder said.
Three people have been transported to a hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening, according to the police.
“Expect delays and avoid the area if possible,” the FCPD said.
As of 9:40 a.m., no power outages in the area had been reported to Dominion Energy.
TRAFFIC ALERT: John Marr Drive at Little River Turnpike is shut down due to a crash. Wires are in the roadway and Virginia Power is responding. Three people were taken to the hospital for injuries not considered life-threatening. Expect delays and avoid the area if possible. pic.twitter.com/Zvpv6SCPqw
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) April 25, 2023
Image via Google Maps
For the next few months, drivers will have just one road to reach Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) from Wolf Trap.
The access point at Trap Road is scheduled to close at 7 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday) and will remain blocked to traffic until 9 a.m. Saturday (April 22), the Virginia Department of Transportation announced last week.
Drivers will be required to use Towlston Road in order to travel between Route 7 and Trap Road.
“By Saturday, April 22 at 9 a.m., the eastbound lanes of Route 7 will shift to the south, and Trap Road will reopen at Route 7 to incoming traffic,” VDOT said. “Drivers on eastbound Route 7 will be able to turn right onto Trap Road.”
However, Trap Road will remain closed to outgoing traffic, which will still need to use Towlston through this summer. A full reopening is currently anticipated in August, according to VDOT.
The closure is part of the ongoing project to widen Route 7 from four to six lanes along a nearly 7-mile stretch from Reston Avenue to Jarrett Valley Drive. Under construction since 2019, the project is also adding 10-foot-wide shared-use paths on both sides of the roadway and redesigning key intersections.
New traffic patterns necessitated by a reconstruction of the Baron Cameron Avenue intersection will be in place until 5 a.m. Thursday (April 20). The new Lewinsville Road intersection is on track to open in May.
The overall Route 7 widening is expected to be completed by July 31, 2024, according to the project website. It costs an estimated $313.9 million.
Updated at 5:50 p.m. — Georgetown Pike has now reopened, Fairfax County police say.
Earlier: Georgetown Pike has been closed in both directions near Old Dominion Drive in Great Falls in the wake of a vehicle crash.
“Wires are in the roadway and Virginia Power Company is on the scene,” the Fairfax County Police Department said at 9:07 a.m. “Avoid the area if possible.”
The closure extends to the River Bend Road intersection, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s traffic camera site, which advises that drivers should expect delays
The impact of the downed wires appears to be relatively limited, causing a power outage for just 39 customers, according to Dominion Energy’s outage map.
“A truck hit a utility pole bringing wires down,” Dominion Energy spokesperson Peggy Fox said. “We were able to restore power to most customers with switching, but 21 customers will remain without power while repairs are done.”
The utility company’s estimated time of restoration for those remaining customers is 1 p.m., Fox said.
TRAFFIC ALERT: Northbound and southbound Georgetown Pike closed due to an accident. Wires are in the roadway and Virginia Power Company is on the scene. Avoid the area if possible. Follow police Directions and expect delays. pic.twitter.com/H2S0kIGUYq
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) April 17, 2023
For the next six months, anyone who wants to visit Turkey Run Park in McLean will have to get there on foot.
All parking lots and the Turkey Run Loop Road that leads into the park from the George Washington Memorial Parkway will close today (Monday) for repair and repaving work, the National Park Service (NPS) announced this morning.
The park and its trails will still be open, but the only way to access them will be by walking on the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.
“The NPS will mill and resurface Turkey Run Loop Road and the parking lots within the park,” the park service said in a news release. “The NPS will complete full depth repairs for some road surfaces. All repaired pavement surfaces will also receive new pavement markings.”
The road and parking lot closures will remain in place through construction, which is expected to finish by Sept. 30.
According to the NPS, the road project is being funded by park entrance fees, which can be used “for construction projects that directly enhance visitors’ enjoyment and access.”
The scope of the closures is necessary for “safety and security protections” during construction, a record of determination approved by GW Parkway Superintendent Charles Cuvelier on March 23 says.
“The project will improve the driving experience and safety while retaining the beauty of the park,” the NPS said. “…The closures will not adversely affect the park’s natural, aesthetic, or cultural values. The closures do not require significant modification to the resource management objectives and are not of a highly controversial nature since this is similar to closures that have occurred in the past.”
Photo via Google Maps
(Updated at 7:55 p.m.) A pedestrian was killed this morning (Friday) in a crash on Richmond Highway (Route 1) near Fairfax County Parkway in the Fort Belvoir area.
Phillip Hester, 62, was walking on Richmond Highway at Anderson Lane when the driver of a 2008 Chevrolet Impala headed south hit him at 5:57 a.m., the Fairfax County Police Department reported.
Hester was then struck a second time by a 2014 Nissan Altima that was also southbound on Route 1, according to police.
“Both drivers remained at the scene,” the FCPD said. “Hester was declared deceased at the scene. Preliminary, speed and alcohol do not appear to be a factor for the drivers in the crash.”
Police say Hester was not in a crosswalk when the Impala hit him.
The crash prompted a closure of southbound Richmond Highway to the northbound lanes on Fairfax County Parkway. The highway reopened shortly before 10 a.m.
This is the third pedestrian fatality reported in Fairfax County this year and the second on Richmond Highway. At this point in 2022, the FCPD had recorded five pedestrian deaths.
The county has been studying options for improving Fairfax County Parkway down to the Route 1 intersection, finding that pedestrian and bicyclist facilities along the corridor are inadequate. The Board of Supervisors approved changes to the comprehensive plan for the roadway on March 21.
Southbound Richmond Hwy to northbound Fairfax County Pkwy is closed. Expect traffic delays. Please use an alternate route. #FCPD
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) April 7, 2023
An armed woman who police say was experiencing a mental health crisis is now being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
The woman, who has been identified as 29-year-old Maryland resident Brittney Copelin, was taken into custody shortly after midnight today (Thursday), ending a shutdown of Richmond Highway in the Hybla Valley area that lasted about 34 hours.
While acknowledging that some business owners and community members grew frustrated by the duration of the barricade, Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis described the handling of the situation as a positive reflection of how police practices have changed over the past decade.
“The reason it took so long was we wanted to get to the best possible outcome for a person involved in a mental health crisis, because that’s what this was,” Davis said at a press conference this afternoon.”There were certainly crimes committed, and we can get into that, but this was ultimately a person in a mental health crisis.”
The Fairfax County Police Department has charged Copelin with two counts of abduction, two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
She also faces multiple criminal charges in the City of Laurel, Maryland, where she lives in an apartment with a woman whom she has now been accused of abducting.
According to Davis, the saga began on Friday (March 24) when Copelin and the other woman, who hasn’t been publicly identified, left their apartment. The other woman’s mother filed a missing persons report with the Laurel Police Department on Sunday (March 26).
Around 11 a.m. on Tuesday (March 28), the Charles County Sheriff’s Office asked the FCPD to conduct a welfare check on a critical missing person in the 7200 block of Fordson Road, where officers encountered the woman who said she had been abducted.
The officers found Copelin in a 2016 Jeep SUV parked in the 7300 block of Richmond Highway, but when they approached the vehicle, she took off, leading to “a very brief, low-speed pursuit,” Davis said.
Coming to a stop on a service road for Richmond Highway and Lockheed Blvd, Copelin then took out a handgun and put it to her head, according to police.
Davis said the officers reacted appropriately by backing off once they saw the gun and calling in the department’s SWAT team. A roughly 1-mile stretch of Richmond Highway was closed between Lockheed Blvd and Boswell Avenue, as special operations officers, crisis negotiators and mental health clinicians arrived on the scene. Read More
Richmond Highway (Route 1) has been closed off to traffic in the Hybla Valley area for over eight hours now due to a woman who has barricaded herself in a vehicle with a handgun, police say.
Crisis negotiators and officers in the Fairfax County Police Department’s Special Operations Division are still working to resolve the situation in the 7400 block of Richmond Highway peacefully, the department said in a 7:33 p.m. update.
“A woman remains in a vehicle armed with a handgun,” the FCPD tweeted. “We continue to ask our community to avoid the area. Richmond Hwy remains closed between Lockheed Blvd and Boswell Ave.”
The woman is by herself, police confirmed. NBC4 reporter Brad Freitas said at 4:36 p.m. that a tactical robot was spotted passing the woman something in a plastic bag through the passenger side window.
We are still on scene of the barricade in the 7400 blk of Richmond Hwy. A woman remains in a vehicle armed with a handgun. We continue to ask our community to avoid the area. Richmond Hwy remains closed between Lockheed Blvd and Boswell Ave.
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) March 28, 2023
Woman still barricaded in a vehicle in Fairfax County has a firearm. A tactical robot passed her something in a plastic bag through passenger window. Richmond Highway remains closed between Boswell Ave and Lockheed Blvd #BreakingNews in #HyblaValley #vatraffic @nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/GDZCyd9dSH
— ʙʀᴀᴅ ꜰʀᴇɪᴛᴀꜱ (@Chopper4Brad) March 28, 2023
Police reported at 12:14 p.m. that a barricade had been established in the area “for a woman experiencing a mental health crisis.”
According to WUSA9, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office asked Fairfax County police to check for a critical missing person in the 7200 block of Fordson Road around 11 a.m.
Upon arriving, the officers encountered a woman who said she’d been abducted, per WUSA9.
While gathering more information from the woman, officers saw the abduction suspect leave the area in a 2014 black Jeep Cherokee. The suspect was also identified as a critical missing person.
After a short pursuit, police say the Jeep came to a stop in the 7400 block of Richmond Highway.
The driver refused to follow officer’s commands and barricaded herself inside the vehicle with a gun.
As of 7:30 p.m., Richmond Highway remained closed in both directions, resulting in approximately 1-mile-long traffic backups, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s traffic camera network.
Map via Google Maps
Residents of the Wolf Trap area near Meadowlark Botanical Gardens may want to charge up their phones now before the power goes out sometime today (Monday).
A “large power outage” is expected to be necessary so that Dominion Energy can replace a pole on that was knocked down last night by a vehicle crash on Beulah Road, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
No injuries were reported in the single-vehicle crash, which occurred in the 1600 block of Beulah Road. Police responded to the scene around 10:20 p.m.
While the crash didn’t result in a power outage, work to replace the damaged pole is still underway. Traffic on Beulah Road is being detoured, with the roadway anticipated to remain closed until early in this afternoon’s rush hour, police said.
Neighborhood remains powered. Beulah Road is expected to be closed until early evening rush hour tomorrow. Detour has been established. Large power outage is anticipated while pole is being replaced.
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) March 13, 2023
Map via Google Maps