Gunman in Merrifield Dead Due to Self-Inflicted Wound

Photo: Fairfax Co. Police

A gunman, who has been identified as  52-year-old John Francis Wood of Vienna, was at the office building at 8111 Gatehouse Rd. in Falls Church and was later found dead at the scene at 7 p.m. tonight due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. There were no other reported injuries.

Fairfax County Police initially responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls at 4:50 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, reporting that gunshots were coming from inside the office building. In press conference streamed live over the police department’s Facebook page just after the all-clear was announced, Fairfax County Chief of Police Edwin Roessler provided updates that the shooter’s body was found in the fourth floor of the building, which was occupied by a law office. Roessler couldn’t confirm whether or not the shooter intended to fire upon a specific person, had any specific motive or if the law office buzzed him in or was open for public entry.

He also confirmed that the several hundred people were evacuated from the building, which also houses the Falls Church Merrifield Preschool. The Fairfax County Public Schools headquarters that lies adjacent to the office building was also put on lockdown.

Roessler and the rest of the department are currently interviewing witnesses to determine the motives of the shooter. The chief went on to lament that “This is most horrific thing that can happen to any of us,” and is thankful that no injuries occurred to innocent occupants of the building.

Fairfax County Police will be providing updates on the situation via its social media pages and blog by Thursday.