Shooting suspect in custody after standoff
By LINDLEY ESTES and KEITH EPPS
A six-hour standoff between a man accused in an earlier shooting and police ended quietly early Friday morning at the Commons apartment complex off Cowan Boulevard in Fredericksburg.
City police said charges are pending against Michael Allen Bailey, 50, who police say wounded a neighbor before the standoff began about 8:40 p.m., Thursday, according to Natatia Bledsoe, city police spokeswoman.
Charges were not immediately filed because Bailey was taken to Mary Washington Hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries.
The man who was wounded was another resident of the complex. He suffered non-life threatening wounds to his back and shoulder, Bledsoe said.
Bledsoe said the shooter had barricaded himself in an apartment at the Commons at Cowan Boulevard next to the city police station with what police believed were multiple weapons.
A portion of Cowan Boulevard was blocked off and no one was allowed in or out of the apartment complex or the adjacent complexes as police tried to persuade Bailey to give himself up.
The suspect fired a weapon several times both inside and outside his apartment after officers arrived, and at one point a Fredericksburg officer returned fire, Bledsoe said.
Bailey walked out of his apartment and surrendered to police around 2:20 a.m.
The investigation is ongoing.
Bledsoe said the incident began when police got a call that someone had been shot. Rescue workers found the victim outside the apartment with what were believed to be non-life-threatening injuries and rushed him to Mary Washington Hospital. He was shot more than once but is expected to survive, Bledsoe said.
He told police that he has known Bailey for about a year and a half and that they have had many disputes prior to yesterday’s incident.
Immediately after the shooting, Bailey retreated to his apartment and was seen holding a gun and breaking out the windows of his residence.
Troopers from the Virginia State Police, deputies from the Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford Sheriff’s Offices, and officers from the Prince William County Police Department also deployed to assist with containment and tactical support. The Fredericksburg Fire Department positioned their command vehicle and provided assistance with medical and technical hazard mitigation.
The city’s Special Entry and Crisis Negotiating teams were part of the heavy police presence on the scene last night.
Bledsoe said she did not yet have details regarding what started the initial altercation or who lives in the apartment where the shooting occurred.
Residents of the apartments were told to stay inside under lock and key. The police department, next door to the complex, was being offered as shelter to those displaced by the standoff. About midnight, officers were starting to evacuate apartment units close to where the suspect was, Bledsoe said.
David Arnold and his stepdaughter Sasha Hammons were displaced from their Commons apartment during the standoff.
They had just returned to the complex from dinner in downtown Fredericksburg when police told them to clear the area.
Arnold is renting the apartment temporarily while he is constructing a house for the family in Stafford.
While in the shelter offered by police, Hammons said the night was “something very different.”
She said the experience introduced her to many of the “colorful” neighbors she had never met before.
“We got there right as it was unfolding,” she said.
David Kondner, also a resident of the Commons, walked up to the building before 9 p.m. as officials arrived on the scene.
His girlfriend was inside their apartment during the standoff and they called each other with updates during the six hours he could not enter the building.
If he hadn’t been waiting a block away, near the entrance to Hugh Mercer Elementary for the standoff to end, Kondner said he would have been watching a “Ghostbusters” marathon.
The apartments are located in the same complex where a city policeman was shot to death in 2008.
Fredericksburg police officer Todd Bahr was shot to death June 6, 2008, when he responded to a domestic assault call at an apartment unit.