- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 17, 2006

4:15 p.m.

The Fairfax County police officer shot five times last week during an attack at a Chantilly police station died of his injuries early this morning.

Master Police Officer Michael E. Garbarino, 53, died at 2:45 a.m. surrounded by his family and friends at Inova Fairfax Hospital, police said. He had been hospitalized in critical condition for more than a week.

“He was a dedicated police officer, a loving husband, a devoted father, the son of proud parents and a brother,” Fairfax County Police Chief David M. Rohrer said at a press conference today. “We will go forward with him as a role model for us.”

The death stunned many in the community and in the police department, which had only publicly identified Officer Garbarino yesterday to announce the establishment of a family trust fund. Police had listed Officer Garbarinos condition as critical but had said that he was “showing signs of improvement.”

Dr. Kevin Dwyer, co-chief of trauma services at Inova Fairfax Hospital, said that the officer had shown signs of movement and flickered his eyes but that his condition spiraled downward yesterday.

“Somewhere in the middle of the afternoon [yesterday], things took a turn for the worse,” Dr. Dwyer said. “Rather suddenly, all his systems began to fail.”

Officer Garbarino, a 23-year member of the Fairfax police force, was the first victim shot by Michael Kennedy, 18, in an ambush on the Sully District Station at about 3:50 p.m. on May 8.

Kennedy, of Centreville, and detective Vicky Armel, 43, also were killed during the attack.

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. Dwyer said Officer Garbarino was admitted in “extreme shock,” adding that 95 percent of the people would not survive the first 48 hours.

State Sen. Kenneth Thomas Cuccinelli II, a Fairfax County Republican, described Officer Garbarino as a “tough and unremittingly positive guy” in his Cuccinelli Compass community newsletter last week. He said he had gone on a ride-along with Officer Garbarino last summer.

“I learned more in that one day than I could normally hope to learn in months,” he said. “In addition to being a great teacher, Mike is a natural leader and an exuberant personality.”

He said that Officer Garbarino was a year from retirement and that he was married and had two daughters, ages 10 and 13.

Contributions can be made to the Garbarino Family Trust Fund c/o the Fairfax County Federal Credit Union, 4201 Members Way, Fairfax, VA 22030.

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