Press Club

Retired Air Force Col. Identified as Man Found Shot in Arlington Nat’l Cemetery

Police car lights(Updated at 5:30 p.m.) Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Terrill, 92, has been identified as the man found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.

Terrill, a Falls Church resident, was declared dead on the scene Friday morning in Section 64 of the cemetery, near the Columbarium Courts, according to a press release. He suffered what was reported by first responders to be a gunshot wound to his head.

Terrill’s wife, Helen Burgess Terrill, who died in 2009, was buried in Section 64. He described himself in a news article after her death as his wife’s “loving soul mate.”

“Although we have not completely ruled it out in order to conduct a complete and thorough investigation, we do not suspect foul play at this point in the investigation,” said Chris Grey, the spokesman for the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, which is the lead agency investigating the death. Officials said the incident is unprecedented for Arlington National Cemetery.

“The cemetery is not aware of an incident such as this previously happening in the cemetery,” said the press release.

Terrill reportedly served in World War II before being commissioned in 1946. According to an Air Force spokesman, he flew more than 8,000 hours as a command pilot before retiring from his last duty assignment at the Pentagon in 1968.

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