A Fairfax County man shot and wounded his sleeping teen-age daughter at their West Springfield home yesterday and then fatally shot himself after a 4 1/2-hour standoff with authorities, county police reported.
The girl, Ellen Carrigan, 17, of 5201 Sterne Court, was shot once in the left shoulder and was listed in good condition last night at Fairfax Hospital. Police and a hospital spokesman said her father, Ralph J. Carrigan, 50, a Federal Trade Commission lawyer, died of a bullet wound to the head shortly after he arrived at the hospital.
Police declined to speculate on a motive for the shootings, but said that it followed the arrest of Carrigan at the family home Sunday night after a dispute with Ellen. Carrigan was charged with simple assault, a misdemeanor, and was released after appearing before a magistrate, police said.
Authorities said the girl was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom of the split-level house about 11:30 a.m. yesterday when Carrigan forced open the door and fired two shots from a pistol, once of which struck her in the shoulder. The girl escaped by jumping about 12 feet to the ground from the bedroom window and ran to a neighbor's house where police and an ambulance were called.
Police arrived within minutes, surrounded the house, and tried to contact Carrigan by telephone but were unsuccessful. Authorities said that Carrigan's wife, another daughter, aged 21, and two sons, aged 19 and 14, were at a soccer match in Annandale when the first shooting occurred but were contacted by police and taken to an unspecified location during the standoff. A police spokesman said they played no part in the negotiations.
After about 3 1/2 hours, a team of heavily armed, flak-jacketed police officers forced their way into the house and found that Carrigan was in the kitchen, the spokesman said. For the next hour the officers tried to persuade him to surrender from an adjacent dining area. When that failed the officers, left and fired several tear gas canisters into the house.
A few minutes later, two gunshots were heard from inside the house, police said. The officers reentered and found Carrigan on the kitchen floor with a bullet wound to the head and a pistol lying nearby.