Falls Church City Police and the Northern Virginia Medical Examiner ruled the gunshot death late Monday of a Latino male in his 30’s a suicide, Falls Church’s Public Information Office reported to the News-Press Tuesday. The shooting occurred Monday at around 11 p.m. in the parking lot of the Tower Square Shopping Center on Hillwood Ave.
According to City officials, police responded to reports of numerous gunshots and found the victim, who is not a City resident, at 11:15 p.m., dead at the scene from a single shot to the head. Numerous residents near the location also reported hearing multiple gunshots.
While there is no explanation for what was reported as up to 10 gunshots, a first barrage followed by a second minutes later, police reported they found about 10 bullet casings from the victim’s gun, a .38 special revolver, in proximity to the victim, and no sign of involvement by any other party. Therefore, according to the City’s report, the death was ruled a suicide.
The identity of the victim is being withheld, but the News-Press has submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for that information.
“While it is our duty to assure residents that there was no gang or major crime activity associated with this death, it is also our duty to protect the family by withholding the victim’s identity,” Barbara Gordon, F.C. Director of Communications, said.
Numerous citizens responded to the initial report of the shooting on the News-Press web site. One said she “heard seven shots in two groups” separated by about two minutes. Another, living very near Tower Square, said there were two sets of gunfire, approximately 10 minutes apart. A third, living “right across from the scene,” said there were “a series of shots and after 10-15 minutes another series of shots.” All expressed doubt, based on their audible witnessing, that it was a suicide.