News

F.C. Identifies Subject of Lengthy Standoff as James V. Rackowski

City of Falls Church officials formally identified the subject of the 30-hour standoff on Hillwood Avenue with regional police units as James Vincent Rackowski, 57, a resident at the address. They report that Rackowski doused himself with gasoline and threatened to burn down the house. He also fired three gunshots with no injuries, and will be charged with discharging a firearm within a building. The following is the City’s complete statement:

“Falls Church City Police Department received a call for a domestic disturbance in the 600 block of Hillwood Ave. shortly after 4 p.m. on Monday, June 25. Falls Church Police responded to the scene and were met by a woman in front of the house. She told police that her brother, James Vincent Rackowski, 57 years of age, had doused himself with gasoline and that he was going to set himself and the house on fire. She also said that her father, who is the homeowner, was in the house as well.

“One officer observed the subject run up the stairs inside the house and open a second floor window. The officer then engaged him in conversation while two other officers entered the house and removed the father. As the officer approached the house, the subject told him not to come any closer and displayed a handgun. The officers who were extracting the father indicated that there was a strong odor of gasoline in the house. A perimeter was established and attempts were made to talk to the subject. Early on, at least three gunshots were heard coming from inside the residence. No one was injured or suffered gunshot wounds from those shots.

“Conversations were established with Rackowski and it was requested that he surrender himself. During the incident combinations of Oleoresin Capsicum (also known as pepper spray) and other chemicals was launched into the house. Additionally, a recorded message from family members was projected over a directional speaker for the subject. The priority of the Falls Church Police was preservation of life.

“Just before 9 p.m. on Tuesday June 26, the subject came down the stairs. A TASER was deployed to control the subject and take him into custody.

“Rackowski will be charged with discharging a firearm within a building.”