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Fairfax County police launch internal probe after deaths of recruit and wife

Police Chief Kevin Davis has ordered an internal affairs investigation into how the deaths, both being treated as possible suicides, were handled by officers

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis in 2021. (Amanda Andrade-Rhoades for The Washington Post)
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Fairfax County police are investigating the deaths of a department recruit and his wife and have launched an internal affairs investigation to determine whether officers who responded to the incident handled it properly, authorities said Sunday.

Officers were called to the couple’s home in the 4200 block of Sonia Court in the Mount Vernon area around 8:10 p.m. Saturday night for a report of a shooting, police said. Officers found the recruit’s spouse with a gunshot wound. She was taken to a hospital, where she later died.

Police said they are investigating her death as a possible suicide.

Officers discovered multiple weapons in the home, police said.

Shortly after officers left the home around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, the police recruit called 911 and asked for officers to return, police said. When officers arrived at the home, they said, they found him with a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

The recruit’s death is also being investigated as a possible suicide, said police, who did not immediately release the name of the recruit or his wife because they were still notifying next of kin on Sunday afternoon.

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis has ordered an internal affairs investigation into how the incident was handled by officers and whether the guns in the home should have been seized under a Virginia red-flag law that allows firearms to be confiscated from those who may be a danger to themselves or others.

In an internal email to the department, Davis wrote that he wants to “determine if our leadership performance was in compliance with my expectations.”

Police said they are also examining why there was a delay in making the incident public.

“Suicides are extremely sensitive and fragile for all involved,” said Anthony Guglielmi, a Fairfax County police spokesman. “This incident was not communicated in a timely manner to the public information office, and I will be looking into how that occurred.”

Guglielmi also said officers from the criminal intelligence unit responded to the scene to help facilitate communications with the military, because the recruit’s wife was on active duty in the U.S. Army.

The recruit was scheduled to attend the Fairfax County police academy in the coming weeks, police said.