Fairfax County police chief discusses evolving tactics following 30+ hour standoff

Evolving police tactics came to light this week in Fairfax County in the face of the barricade situation on Richmond Highway.

The standoff began Tuesday morning in the 7400 block of Richmond Highway when a woman, who police say was suffering a mental health crisis, barricaded herself inside a car.

Crisis negotiators and other Fairfax County law enforcement were on the scene for nearly 34 hours using tactics like sirens and recorded announcements from family to persuade the woman to give herself up.

Authorities identified the woman as Brittany Copelin, 29, of Charles County, Maryland. She was taken into custody early Thursday morning.

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis joined FOX 5 Friday to discuss the standoff ad how the department was able to negotiate a peaceful surrender.

"Persons, particularly one that was armed like this young lady was the other day - there's no shot clock, there’s no rush. We can take our time with that," Davis said.


Fairfax County police take armed woman, kidnapping suspect into custody after 30+ hour standoff

After nearly two days, a standoff in the Hybla Valley area of Fairfax County is over after police took into custody an armed woman and kidnapping suspect who had been barricaded inside her vehicle for 34 hours.

"This young woman was certainly involved in criminal activity. But moreover, she was involved in a mental health crisis," he continued. "So we got the right people there to communicate with her and deal with her. And ultimately we had a successful outcome. She came out and we took her into custody."

Police say Copelin faces several charges in Fairfax County including two counts of abduction, two counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony and felon in possession of a firearm.

She also faces charges in Laurel, Maryland in connection with the alleged kidnapping of the woman police encountered while performing a wellness check in Alexandria.

Copelin is expected in court Friday.