Two Loudoun County sheriff’s deputies were shot and wounded Christmas Eve at a home in Sterling where a domestic dispute was reported, the sheriff’s office said.
The shooting occurred shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday in the 46000 block of Hollow Mountain Place, just off Route 7. The apparent dispute involved a 39-year-old man and his 19-year-old daughter, according to Sheriff Mike Chapman.
A female deputy was hit in the leg, and a male deputy was struck in an arm and both legs, Chapman said. Both were at a hospital and doing “pretty good,” he said.
Chapman said that the deputies who arrived at the house about 4 p.m. tried to de-escalate the conflict but that it remained “pretty tense.”
When the man in the home went upstairs, deputies followed, fearing he might have weapons, the sheriff said.
As the man stood near a bedroom closet door, Chapman said, the deputies told the man that he would be taken into custody. Then, according to Chapman’s account, the man reached down in a “furtive action.”
A deputy used a stun gun on him, and another went to tackle him, but he “managed to grab a handgun he had in the closet,” Chapman said, and got several shots off.
According to the sheriff’s office, Douglas V. Johnson Jr., 39, of Sterling, was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted capital murder. He was held without bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center, the sheriff’s office said.
Neither deputy was identified by name.
A man who lives near the shooting site said he heard loud sounds, not recognizing them immediately as gunshots.
The man asked that his name not be published, saying he did not wish to be identified with what happened.
It was shortly after 5 p.m. when he heard the “deep, resonant” sounds, he said.
He recalled hearing about two shots, then a pause, and then “a couple more.”
The witness and about a dozen other residents of the development watched as the wounded deputies were brought out.
The man said one deputy was speaking on a cellphone while being brought out. The second deputy appeared to be in more serious condition, the witness said.
It was not clear what prompted the reported dispute between the man and his daughter.
The house involved is in the Westerley community, composed of 313 single-family houses and townhouses about one mile west of the border with Fairfax County, according to the Westerley Homeowner’s Association.
The witness said he did not know who lived in the house where the shooting occurred.
Domestic incidents are regarded as among the more dangerous calls for law enforcement personnel, with a potential for volatility.
Perry Stein contributed to this report.