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October 7, 2014

Wounded man in custody after 17-hour standoff

Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Police and medics surround suspect (left) just after his apprehension around 7:05 a.m. Tuesday on Alexandria Pike in Warrenton.
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The suspect, Joshua M. Simpson, 34, ran into this home, which he rents at 69 Alexandria Pike, after deputies tried to take him into custody for a mental evaluation around 2 p.m. Monday. Here state police crime scene investigators gather evidence late Tuesday morning.
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Alexandria Pike — from Winchester to Haiti streets — remains closed as police gather evidence late Tuesday morning.
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
A Fauquier sheriff’s dog and his handler await orders behind the armored vehicle just before dawn.
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
State police and a sheriff’s deputy maintain a roadblock outside the library at Alexandria Pike and Winchester Street as the sun rises Tuesday.
Josh, we’re gonna come help you, but you’ve got to get that gun away from your body . . . . If not, we’re gonna deploy the dog on you
— Police negotiator on loudspeaker Tuesday morning
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A suspect’s exchange of gunfire with police ended a 17-hour standoff just after 7 a.m. Tuesday in Old Town Warrenton, authorities said.

A 34-year-old man, apparently with a shotgun, faced dozens of police outside his rented home at 69 Alexandria Pike.

Officers in tactical gear and a police dog took cover behind a state police armored vehicle, parked in front of the two-story dwelling.

Using a loudspeaker, a police negotiator talked constantly with the suspect as officers blocked streets around the scene.

Officers took Joshua Michael Simpson, wounded in the exchange, into custody around 7:05 a.m.

“Simpson exited his residence armed with a weapon and began firing at law enforcement, whereupon law enforcement on scene returned fire,” sheriff’s Lt. James Hartman said in a press release.

“Simpson was wounded in the exchange and transported to Inova Fairfax (Hospital) for treatment of life-threatening injuries,” Lt. Hartman added.

Police suffered no injuries, he said.

Police repeatedly fired teargas canisters into the home.

The standoff started around 2 p.m. Monday, authorities said.

Sheriff’s deputies went to serve Mr. Simpson with an emergency custody order. That would allow officers to take him into custody for a mental health evaluation.

“As deputies attempted to take Simpson into custody, he fled on foot to his residence, where he locked himself inside,” Lt. Hartman said. “Deputies attempted to negotiate with Simpson and quickly discovered Simpson was armed with a weapon. Deputies broke contact and took up surveillance positions while other assets were called in to assist.”

Warrenton police, state police and more deputies responded.

Meanwhile, investigators discovered Mr. Simpson “made materially false statements on the firearm purchase application in Prince William County,” Lt. Hartman said.

State police got a warrant for his arrest on that charge.

Police evacuated nearby homes and closed surrounding streets.

Negotiations continued through the night.

“At one point, Simpson repeatedly fired his weapon from the residence in the direction of law enforcement on scene,” Lt. Hartman said.

Around 7 a.m., the final showdown took place.

In the 15 minutes before the standoff ended, the negotiator in part said:

“Josh, throw that weapon away from yourself . . . .

“Josh, we can’t approach you while you’ve got that weapon. We can’t come help you . . . .

“Josh, you’ve got to get rid of that gun.”

Then, a fellow officer said: “Mike, keep talking to him.”

The negotiator continued, in part:

“Josh, we’re gonna come help you, but you’ve got to get that gun away from your body . . . . If not, we’re gonna deploy the dog on you . . . .

“Slide that shotgun down the stairs . . . .

“Put the shotgun on the stairs.”

At 6:59 a.m.: “Josh, put your hands on top of your head and hold that position. We want to get you some medical attention. We can’t do that as long as you have the gun . . . .

“Leave the gun alone so we can help you.”

The standoff ended soon thereafter.

The top section of Alexandria Pike, near Winchester Street, will remain closed while the investigation continues, Lt. Hartman said.

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