Police: Murder suspect opens fire on troopers in Stafford County, crashes during high-speed chase
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - A man suspected of killing his wife was seriously injured after he opened fire on troopers in Stafford County, leading them on a high-speed chase and crash on Interstate 95, according to officials.
Police say this all started when a domestic-related shooting took place at the England Run North Apartments on Heron Drive in Fredericksburg at around 11:24 a.m. Thursday. Authorities say the suspect is alleged of shooting his wife three times in the chest before fleeing in a black Ford Explorer.
There were children inside of the apartment at the time of the shooting, according to officials. Neighbors say the family had moved into the complex only two weeks ago.
Virginia State Police say a trooper spotted the SUV traveling northbound on I-95 at around 11:31 a.m. after a lookout was issued and attempted to pull the vehicle over. However, the driver of the SUV refused to stop and a police pursuit began.
Police say during the chase, the suspect fired several rounds at the trooper from his driver's side window. One of the bullets went through the windshield of the trooper's vehicle and became lodged in the driver's seat. Thankfully, the trooper was able to duck away from the gunfire.
However, the trooper was rear-ended as part of a three-vehicle chain-reaction crash during this incident. A person suffered a minor injury in the crash and was treated at the scene.
Authorities say the suspect continued on Interstate 95 with the trooper still in pursuit. A Stafford County sheriff's deputy then joined in to pursue the suspect. A couple of miles further on the roadway, the suspect slowed again and started firing his weapon at the police vehicles. The gunfire this time hit the deputy's patrol car, with one bullet striking the windshield of the vehicle and narrowly missing the deputy. The bullet was found lodged in the driver's side headrest.
At mile marker 142, the suspect would lose control of his SUV after sideswiping another vehicle on I-95. The Ford Explorer would crash into a guardrail and flip upside down. Deputies say when the suspect was extracted from the vehicle, officers found him with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
The suspect was flown to Fairfax Inova Hospital where he was being treated for life-threatening injuries.
There were no other injuries reported during the chase. Officials said troopers did not fire their weapons during the incident.
"Today could have had a very different outcome," said Stafford County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Amanda Vicinanzo. "Our law enforcement officers put their lives in danger every single day and it's easy to become complacent about that. Today is an important reminder of the risk that our officers face every single day and we are so grateful they are safe."
The Stafford County Sheriff's Office says their new drone was used to help track the suspect down.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing at this time. Traffic could be seen backed up for miles on I-95 due to the investigation.