Fairfax County Police have identified the man killed Saturday afternoon by a Fairfax County police officer, after he fired three shots at the policeman, as Harrison Snell, 47, of 4840 Eastern La. in Suitland.
According to police, Snell was receiving out-patient psychiatric treatment at the Veteran's Hospital in Washington, where he had been a resident patient in 1964. Snell had become disabled after he fell from telephone pole while working in communications in the military, according to police spokesman Betty Bosarge. He was unemployed and receiving a veteran's disability pension, she said.
Police said Snell's car, headed east one car in Fairfax City, ran a red light, and then collided with another vehicle in front of the Annandale campus of Northern Virgifnia Community College. His vehicle finally went out of control and came to a stop on the grounds of the college.
According to police, Snell began running down Rte. 236 waving a revolver wrapped in a blue shirt. Police said officer Edgar J. Wimberly, armed with a shotgun, gave chase and, after searching for more than an hour, spotted Snell and followed him into a wooded area in front of the Fairfax Heritage Apartments at 4211 Americana Ave., Annandale. By this time, Snell had run 1.4 miles from his car, police said.
When Wimberly ordered Snell to halt, he instead fired three shots at Wimberly with a large-caliber revolver, police said. Wimberly returned the fire and Snell was pronounced dead at Fairfax Hospital, police said.
Officials were unable to find the names of relatives either on Snell's body or in his Suitland apartment. He was positively identified only after his sister heard about the incident on the radio and called police, Bosarge said.
Wimberly is working in an administrative capacity at a police station until an internal investigation of the shooting has been made, Bosarge reported. This is customary procedure in the police department whenever a police officer uses his weapon, she said. Wimberly will continue to perform administrative tasks until the report of the investigation is reviewed by Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr., she added.