Guns Were Secured, Family Says

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 12, 2006

The parents of the 18-year-old who fatally shot a Fairfax County police detective and wounded another officer Monday are not responding to police efforts to question them about why the young man targeted police officers and how he obtained the weapons used in the ambush, authorities said yesterday.

Attorneys for the parents of Michael W. Kennedy said in a statement released last night that the guns had been locked in two containers.

"The family can only surmise that their son broke into one of the containers prior to going to the Sully District Station," said the statement from MacDowell & Associates, which represents Brian and Margaret Kennedy of Centreville. "Any indication that loaded firearms were routinely left around the residence is simply false and untrue."

The teenager carried seven guns into the police parking lot of the Sully District station and fired at least 70 shots at different officers. Before he was killed by police gunfire, Kennedy killed Detective Vicky O. Armel, 40, and critically wounded Officer Michael E. Garbarino.

"The young man who committed these inexplicable acts was not the same Michael" familiar to his parents, the statement said. "The Kennedy family, friends and neighbors . . . never imagined that Michael was capable of the events of this past Monday."

The statement added that Brian and Margaret Kennedy had assisted their son in seeking mental health treatment in recent months.

After the shooting, the parents disappeared with their 9-year-old daughter. On Tuesday, they hired attorney Richard F. MacDowell Jr. of Fairfax, who issued a statement offering condolences and saying that the Kennedys were "trying to comprehend the tragic events."

But since then, no meeting has been arranged, Lt. Richard Perez said yesterday.

"We want to talk about the background" of their son, Chief David M. Rohrer said Wednesday. "The weapons, their son, what they knew. I want to help them, too. They lost a son."

Police said Kennedy was armed with an AK-47-style assault rifle, a high-powered hunting rifle and five handguns during the attack. Perez said the ownership of those guns had not yet been established. Police submitted the serial numbers to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for a trace.

Hours after the shooting, police found nine more guns in the Kennedy house, as well as ammunition, hunting knives, a bayonet and a locked gun safe.

Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said the Kennedys probably aren't criminally responsible for the shooting.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2006 The Washington Post Company