Fairfax County's police chief is launching an internal probe into whether guns should have been removed from a police recruit's home after his wife died by suicide. The recruit took his own life shortly after police left his home, police said.
Officials are examining whether officers abided by Virginia's red flag law, Fairfax County Police Communications Director Anthony Guglielmi said. The red flag law, which was passed in 2020, allows authorities to temporarily take guns away from people deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others.
The recruit was a former military service member and his wife was active duty military, police said. Their identities have not yet been released publicly.
The recruit called officers to his home in the 4200 block of Sonia Court in the Mount Vernon area about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, police said. He told officers that he and his wife argued, then she attempted to take her own life.
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She was pronounced dead at a hospital. Authorities are investigating her death as a suicide, police said.
Authorities offered the recruit mental health assistance, which he refused, and investigators left the scene. Multiple guns were inside the home, Guglielmi said.
Guglielmi said that a “short time” later, the recruit called 911, asked for help and said he was “leaving.”
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Officers returned to the home and found the front door open, Guglielmi said.
The recruit was found upstairs, wounded, then pronounced dead at the scene, Guglielmi said. His death is also being investigated as a suicide.
Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis launched an internal probe into how police handled the initial death.
The investigation will look into whether or not weapons should have been seized from the home under Virginia’s red-flag law, to prevent the man from dying by suicide, Guglielmi said. The probe will also examine whether the public was notified in a timely manner.
The recruit was classified as a “pre-hire” by Fairfax County Police — he was hired less than two weeks ago and had been awaiting his start at the police academy, police said.
The names of the deceased are expected to be released once their families are notified.
Stay with News4 for more on this developing story.
If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, reach out to SAMHSA's National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7, 365 days a year at 800-273-TALK (8255). Additional suicide prevention resources can be found here.