- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 11, 2006

The heavily armed Centreville teenager who ambushed Fairfax County police officers Monday used weapons registered to his father, who was in legal possession of several types of guns and rifles, law-enforcement sources said yesterday.

A search of Michael William Kennedy’s home in the 6200 block of Prince Way after the afternoon ambush also uncovered a cache of rifles and handguns, a copy of the search warrant shows.

Officers on Monday night seized from the home nine firearms, including a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, a Colt 9mm handgun, rifles and muskets, the warrant shows.

The weapons were scattered throughout the house, including under a mattress in the master bedroom and on the floor of a hallway, the warrant shows. It could not be determined who owned those guns or who placed them throughout the house.

“They were found in different locations,” Maj. Robert Callahan of Fairfax County’s criminal investigations bureau said yesterday. “Several were in a hallway standing against the wall. Whether that’s the normal thing in that house, I don’t know.”

Kennedy, 18, was carrying an AK-47-style assault weapon, a high-powered rifle and five handguns when he opened fire on officers at the Sully District Station in Chantilly. He also had a considerable amount of ammunition, including several “banana” magazine clips and bags of bullets.

Kennedy fired more than 70 rounds, killing Detective Vicky O. Armel, 40, and critically wounding Officer Michael E. Garbarino, 53, before being killed in a gunbattle with police. Maj. Callahan said about 150 rounds were fired by police and Kennedy in the shootout.

Officer Garbarino remained in critical condition last night.

In the search, investigators found an open gun safe, sources said, and police spokeswoman Mary Ann Jennings said Kennedy’s father, Brian H. Kennedy, 49, “is a registered gun owner.”

Officers seized more than 80 items from the home, including explosive fireworks, more than 10 knives, a notebook containing Kennedy’s “suicidal thoughts,” a notebook containing “Satanic symbolism” and “a green, leafy substance,” the warrant shows.

Law-enforcement sources said the results of serial number check on the guns used by Kennedy in the shootout indicated they belonged to his father. The sources said that not all of the checks on the weapons used in the shootout had been completed.

Mr. Kennedy, a meat manager at a local Food Lion, and his wife, Margaret J. Kennedy, 44, have not been seen since the shooting but have said through an attorney that they are “in seclusion.” They also expressed condolences to Detective Armel’s family.

Police said yesterday that they have had “several conversations” with the family’s attorney but have not been able to talk to Kennedy’s parents.

The firm representing the Kennedy family, Fairfax-based MacDowell & Associates, said it had no further information to give about the incident.

Police said Officer Garbarino was preparing to go off-duty and was not wearing his uniform or a bulletproof vest at the time of the shooting. He was in an unmarked Ford Crown Victoria when Kennedy shot him five times.

Dr. Samir Fakhry, chief of the Inova Regional Trauma Center, said Officer Garbarino has shown signs of improvement after undergoing a lengthy surgery Monday night.

“I’m very much heartened to report things have gotten somewhat better,” Dr. Fakhry said.

Well-wishers continued to flock to the Sully District Station yesterday where they placed flowers and cards at a police cruiser to show support for the officers.

Officials have closed the station temporarily and put its 103 officers on administrative leave, assigning officers from other districts to cover Sully and use the Fair Oaks District Station as a base for operations.

Capt. Susan H. Culin, commander of the Sully station, thanked the community for its support and lauded Officer Garbarino and Detective Armel in short, emotion-filled remarks.

“Vicky was responding to a felony call as she was trained to do, and she responded in an exceptional manner that had tragic results,” Capt. Culin said. “Vicky was a member of our family, and we loved her.”

Detective Armel, whose husband also is a member of the Fairfax police force and who had two young children, worked as a Fairfax County Sheriff’s deputy for about seven years before transferring to the county’s police force.

She also was a former full-time firearms instructor at the police academy, a coveted position in law enforcement.

“She was about the hardest-working cop you would ever meet,” said Officer Marshall Thielen, president of the Fairfax police union who worked with Detective Armel as a firearms instructor. “She was an amazing police officer, I say that from the bottom of my heart.”

A funeral for Detective Armel is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at the McLean Bible Church.

Police have asked people wishing to show their support to tie a blue ribbon to their vehicle antennas.

Information regarding a trust fund set up for the Armel family is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police.

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