MCLEAN, Va. – A small Northern Virginia town is on lockdown after police discovered the body of a man who had been shot in the head in a local park this morning. At approximately 10:28 a.m. EST Fairfax County police encountered a man lying facedown in McLean Central Park. The man appeared to have died from a recent gunshot wound.
“The individual in question was found holding a revolver in his right hand,” Fairfax County’s Chief of Police, Terrence Robinson said during a press briefing moments ago. Police are not ruling out the possibility the man could be the victim of a mass shooting. “Our officers are treating this as an active shooter situation,” Chief Robinson said, adding that members of Fairfax County’s SWAT team are in the process of searching the park for more bodies.
Investigators say the man, who has yet to be identified, was found with a scrap of paper “resembling a suicide note” in his breast pocket. “At this time we’re working under the assumption that the real shooter -or shooters, may have planted the note as well as the gun on the body to act as some sort of diversion,” Chief Robinson said.
“It’s just very peculiar when you have a single fatality that appears to involve a firearm,” said Fox News correspondent Riley Weston reporting from an adjacent parking lot in downtown McLean where various media crews have assembled. “Investigators are trying to look at this objectively, but you have to ask yourself, why would someone take their own life without taking others with them?”
A law enforcement official with first-hand knowledge of the investigation agreed with Weston’s sentiments, telling Real News Right Now, “As with any situation involving the loss of life, it’s very difficult to wrap your head around. But in this case in particular we have what at first glance appears to be single victim; it just doesn’t make sense.”
Police have yet to determine a motive behind the shooting but as CNN’s chief law-enforcement expert, former FBI Special Agent Enrique Torres, pointed out, “It’s still very early in the investigation and right now authorities are being very careful not to release any information about the victim or the shooter. They’re working to gather evidence in hopes of painting a picture that will hopefully shed some light on what lead to this tragedy.” Torres continued, “Before a motive can be established, authorities will have to take a close look at the suspect’s mental health and religion which, I imagine, is their top priority right now.”
At this time authorities are asking the public to remain vigilant and immediately report any suspicious activity to police.
UPDATE: 12:01 p.m.
Moments ago several armored vehicles belonging to the Virginia State Police Emergency Response Team, including an MRAP, arrived in downtown McLean. Police have expanded the perimeter around the crime scene and tactical teams are preparing to conduct door to door searches of homes and businesses in the surrounding area.
UPDATE: 12:37 p.m.
Agents from the FBI’s Washington field office arrived in downtown McLean just after 12:30 p.m. before setting up a command center in the parking lot of a nearby shopping center. Local authorities have reportedly handed the investigation over to the FBI. While referring to the shooting as a “possible suicide,” FBI spokesman Agent Daniel Torrington told reporters the Bureau is trying to determine whether or not the victim and the shooter are one in the same and more importantly, if they have any links to the Islamic State.
UPDATE: 1:03 p.m.
President Barack Obama is expected to deliver an address to the nation from the East Wing of the White House at 1:30 p.m. EST.