A Fairfax County police officer and an unidentified man were wounded yesterday in a shootout in a parking lot, but neither suffered life-threatening injuries, police said.
Few details were available last night about the officer or the man. Officials said the shooting by a suspect of an officer in the line of duty was the first in Fairfax in at least 15 years. Police did not know last night who fired the first shot.
"I can't remember the last time we had a suspect shoot an officer in Fairfax," said Lt. Richard Perez, a police spokesman.
Perez said several officers negotiated with the armed man for more than an hour, trying to persuade him to drop his gun, before the gunfire erupted.
Police declined to name the officer but said he is 46 years old and a 24-year member of the department.
The incident began about 2 p.m. at the Yorkshire Apartments, just off Kingstowne Village Parkway. Police were initially dispatched on a missing persons report, said Perez, who said he had no details on the call.
At least one officer responded to the parking lot in the 6500 block of Palladium Court in Kingstowne, where there is a carport surrounded by three-story garden apartments. The officer radioed that he had encountered a man with a handgun, Perez said. At least two other officers and a supervisor quickly arrived on the scene, he said.
The officers and the man spoke for more than an hour, Perez said, while the officers remained behind cover and the man sat on a grassy area near the carport, Perez said. Then the shooting began. Perez said he did not know how many shots were fired or how many of the officers fired their weapons.
"We're trying to determine who shot first and what the circumstances were that led to the shooting," Perez said.
Both men were seriously wounded and taken by helicopter to Inova Fairfax Hospital. The suspect, whose age and home town were not available, was shot in the upper body. His condition was not available.
Perez said the officer was shot in the leg and was in stable condition last night.
Police Chief David M. Rohrer and Deputy Chief Charles Peters went to the hospital to be with the officer, Perez said. He was assigned to patrol the Franconia area.
Residents of the community said they considered the neighborhood safe. One said he had moved there because of its low crime rate, and Perez said police were rarely called to the Yorkshire Apartments.