A sniper who barricaded himself in a house on Columbia Pike on Arlington and started shooting into the surrounding neighborhood Friday surrendered peacefully to police at 4 A.M. yesterday.
No one was hurt in the nearly eight-hours seige.
The gunman identified by Arlington County police as Robert Dean Brauer was being held yesterday at the Arlington County jail without bond pending a scheduled appearance in General District Court Monday. Police said they have charged Brauer, who they believe to be in his early 30s, with firing a gun in public and firing a gun in a public dwelling. Police said it was likely they would file additional charges against him but refused to elaborate.
Police said that when the snipper surrendered he left his two 12-gauge shotguns, a 22 automatic rifle, and a 30.06 rifle inside the three-story, white frame house, at 1933 Columbia Pike.
Detective Kenneth J. Madden a member of the police negotiating team that finally persuaded the gunman to give up, said after the incident was over that police had trouble convincing the gunman that they were not going to close inon him.
Madden said that at one point during the negotiations the sniper said he needed 15 minutes to think about what the police had told him. Then he ended the 15-minute silence with a burst of gunfire, police said.
Police received the first call about the sniping inicident at about 8:20 p.m. Friday from a pregnant woman who reported that someone was shooting into a sixth-floor apartment in the nieghborhood. By the end of the incident, dozens of rounds of ammunition had been fired, some of them at police and their cruisers. One bullet struck a police car.
Police said Brauer had been plagued by personal problems recently, and acquaintances described him as having been particularly moody and depressed Friday after his dog, a German shepard named Bandit, had been killed by an automobile.
"That was the straw that borke the camel's back," Madden said in reffering to the dog's death. "The problems all came to bear, and he just wanted to make somebody aware of his problems."
Joe Grim, 63, an Arlington resident who described himself as Brauer's "best friend," said Brauer was depressed because his wife and two small children had left him and gone to Wisconsin last weekend and because his wife has been undergoing treatment for diabetes. In addition, Grim said Brauer faces hospital bills stemming from the birth of his last child.
Wendell Quenn, a District of Columbia corrections officer who lives in the Dorchester Appartments, said Brauer was a friend who often visited him and had helped fix his car.
"He'd come up to my apartment sometimes just to talk to me," Queen said. "He's really the type of guy you'd never know. I mean he was easy-going and all but he never said anything, really. He seemed depressed a lot of the time."
Queen said Brauer had told him that there was a lot of sickness in his family an d that Braucer sometimes became depressed about that.
The Red Top Cab Company of Arlington told a reporter shortly after the siege began Friday evening that its dispatcher had received a call that afternoon from a man on Columbia Pike who asked to be taken to Alexandria.
Red top driver John Deegan, 21, arrived at the 1933 Columbia Pike address about 5:35 p.m. and picked up a man believed to be the suspect.
Red Top records do not indicate who the passenger was, and he never gave his name, a company spokesman said.
"He said he wanted to go to Potomac Arms (a gunshop) by 6 and asked me if I could get him there," Deegan said. "I told him 'Yeah'!"
Deegan said he drove through back streets and was able to arrive at the arms surplus store at Prince and Duke Streets in Alexandria by 5:45 p.m.
The cabdriver said the man, whom he described as 6 feet 1 and about 170 pounds with scraggly brown hair, went into the store and came out carrying a brown paper bag.
Deegan said his passenger told him he had bought $13 worth of ammunition and explained he wanted to go shooting with four friends. "He said he just wanted to go out and shoot off some rounds and have a good time," Deegan said.
Deegan said his passenger pulled out one of the rounds and showed it to him. It was a 22 caliber long rifle cartridge with a hollow point bullet, according to Deegan.