BREAKING: Shots fired as Arlington officers chase suspect into Fairfax County

(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) A suspect fired gunshots at police in Arlington, sparking a high-speed chase down Route 50 that ended in the West Falls Church area of Fairfax County.

The incident started around 7:45 p.m. when Arlington County police were notified that a suspect that had fled from Prince George’s County police was entering the county, per scanner traffic.

The suspect was said to be driving a Honda Civic, similar to that involved in a gun brandishing incident with sheriff’s deputies in Courthouse this morning. During that incident, a man stopped in a crosswalk near police headquarters and flagged down deputies, before fleeing when the deputies saw a gun in his lap.

Around 8:10 p.m. an officer radioed that shots were being fired at police, reportedly on the 600 or 700 block of S. Wakefield Street in the Barcroft neighborhood, north of Columbia Pike. The suspect then drove down 4th Street S. and up George Mason Drive near the National Guard Bureau before getting on Route 50 and fleeing towards Fairfax County at high speeds, with a large contingent of Arlington police and Virginia State Police in pursuit, according to scanner traffic.

The suspect reportedly drove the wrong way down Route 50 while trying to avoid traffic and caused a crash at Route 50 and Annandale Road in Fairfax County, before getting out of the car and beginning a foot chase, during which more shots were fired at police, near a Shell gas station at the intersection of Route 50 and Graham Road, according to scanner traffic.

The suspect is now in custody and a gun with an extended magazine was found by officers, Fairfax County police confirmed. There are no reports of officers injured.

“Tonight, an individual who recklessly discharged a firearm at police officers on more than one occasion and in the vicinity of community members is in custody due to the courageous and professional efforts of members of the Arlington County Police Department, the Fairfax County Police Department, and the Virginia State Police,” Arlington police chief Andy Penn said at a press conference in Fairfax County, near where the chase ended.

Penn confirmed that police believe tonight’s suspect was the same that deputies encountered this morning. Arlington police obtained warrants for the suspect — on charges of eluding, brandishing and hit and run — after the morning incident, Penn said.

After being notified that the suspect was en route back to Arlington, officers spotted his vehicle in the area of S. George Mason Drive and Columbia Pike. The suspect fled from an attempted traffic stop, Penn said, and the suspect started firing at officers as they gave chase. Earlier police radio traffic included authorization to give chase, which is usually against department policy for minor crimes.

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis identified the suspect at 27-year-old Ricardo Singleton. Davis said Singleton struck “several cars” during the pursuit, then fired “several rounds from a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine” at officers after stopping his car at the intersection of Route 50 and Graham Road.

“There are restaurants here, there are gas stations here, we were early enough in the night that there were pedestrians — folks walking around,” Davis said. “It’s an absolute miracle that no one was struck and injured or killed, and we’re very, very grateful for that.”

Davis said officers chased Singleton on foot and established a perimeter after he was able to briefly get away. Within minutes, he was found hiding behind a business and arrested without incident.

Police did not provide a potential motive for the brandishing and the subsequent shooting spree. Davis said one Fairfax officer returned fire, but there was no indication that the suspect was injured.

After the arrest, Arlington County police could be seen looking for shell casings on the 600 block of S. Wakefield Street, which was blocked off to traffic. As of midnight, Route 50 remained closed to traffic at the shooting scene.

On Friday afternoon, ACPD released the following press release about the incident.

An Arlington man who recklessly discharged a firearm towards officers and in the vicinity of community members during two incidents on Thursday night is in custody due to the courageous and professional efforts of members of the Arlington County Police Department, the Fairfax County Police Department, and the Virginia State Police. Ricardo Singleton, 27, is charged in Arlington County with Attempted Malicious Wounding of a Police Officer (x3), Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, Reckless Handling of a Firearm, Brandishing, Eluding (x2) and Hit and Run. He is charged with additional offenses in Fairfax County where he is being held in the Adult Detention Center.

Just prior to 9 a.m. on October 6, Arlington County Sheriff’s Office deputies made contact with the driver of a vehicle stopped in the crosswalk in the 1400 block of N. Courthouse Road. As they approached, they observed the suspect pointing a firearm towards the ceiling of the car. The suspect then drove away and the deputies entered their vehicle and followed to investigate. Deputies located the suspect in a nearby garage and he stated he was in need of help. They instructed him to park and as they approached the vehicle, observed the firearm in his lap. The suspect then drove off, struck a vehicle in the 1200 block of N. Courthouse Road and fled the area.

Arlington County Police officers responded to the scene, identified the suspect and obtained warrants for his arrest. Members of the department’s Tactical Unit continued efforts throughout the day to locate the suspect. He was later located in Prince George’s County, Maryland where he fled from Prince George’s County Police after they attempted to stop his vehicle.

Arlington officers then saturated the area near the suspect’s residence and just prior to 8 p.m., located the suspect vehicle in the area of Columbia Pike and S. Wakefield Street. When officers attempted to stop the vehicle, the suspect fled and a vehicle pursuit was initiated. During the pursuit, the suspect fired his weapon in the direction of the officers as they traveled in the 600 block of S. Wakefield Street. The pursuit continued onto Route 50 into Fairfax County with the assistance of Virginia State Police and Fairfax County Police.

The suspect crashed at Route 50 and Graham Road, leaving the vehicle inoperable. The suspect then bailed out of the vehicle, fled the scene on foot and fired additional shots as Arlington County Police, Fairfax County Police and Virginia State Police pursued on foot. A perimeter was established and the suspect was located and taken into custody. A firearm with an extended magazine was recovered at the scene.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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