Fairfax County police say they shot a 61-year-old man inside an apartment in the Falls Church area on Thursday in a bid to save the life of a teenager the suspect already had shot.
The teenager called 911 just before 11 a.m. to report he had been shot in the face by a man who lives in the apartment in the 2000 block of Peach Orchard Drive, police said. The teen took shelter in a bedroom and said the man was trying to break into the room.
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County officers and sheriff’s deputies responded and started negotiations with those inside the apartment.
The suspect reportedly refused to put down a gun and pounded on a door inside the victim’s home.
Officers and the suspect shot at each other, and the suspect was taken to a hospital for emergency surgery. The teenager shot by the suspect also was taken to a hospital. He is expected to be OK.
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An officer was grazed by a bullet allegedly fired by the suspect and was treated at the scene.
Police Chief Ed Roessler Jr. praised the officers who responded.
“Today they are heroes because they saved the life of the victim in this matter,” he said at a news conference.
“To save the life of the victim, the brave law enforcement officers formed a reaction team and made immediate entry into the apartment,” Roessler said.
The Major Crimes Bureau is conducting a criminal investigation into the use of force, police said. The Internal Affairs Bureau is conducting an administrative investigation.
The officers involved in the shooting, a 20-year veteran and an 18-year veteran, are on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations, per department policy. The names of the officers will be released within 10 days, police said.
The name of the suspect was not released, nor was information on his relationship with the teenager.
Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.