Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Detective Vicky Anne Owen Armel

Fairfax County Police Department, Virginia

End of Watch Monday, May 8, 2006

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Reflections for Detective Vicky Anne Owen Armel

Vicky

It has been 10 months since we lost you. Each day I take a moment to think of you and Mike. It is difficult to put into words how I and the rest of us here at Sully feel. The anniversary of the shooting is coming up. It will be hard to get through it but we will.

You Tyler and the kids are always in our thoughts. I can not say how Tyler feels, he seems to be doing okay but I know how I felt when my Dad was shot in the percent house #42 in the Bronx in 1973.

It seems the citizens are just getting out of control there have been several shootings since ours throughout the country. The last just happen in NYC where a gunman killed a citizen and two volunteer police officers. Well its time to go, work is calling.

We miss you very much, your friend

Vinnie

MPO Vincent DarConte
Fairfax County Police Sully District Station

March 15, 2007

My thoughts in the past couple of days have been filled with Vicky. After talking to people that knew her, I feel her loss even more then before. I hope that everyone can remember the funny and happy times that you have spent with her along with missing her. I heard some funny stories and found myself laughing out loud. It is good to remember the person not just the tragedy. I am so glad to be able to learn more about her, she is more then a name and date. A small change needs to be noted about the Unity Tour. I put the website down as Unitytour.com, it is actually policeunitytour.com. I encourage anyone that can take a few days out of their busy schedule to come to Washington DC in May and stand proud for those who cannot. Also remember, those of you who support the family left behind, this does not end in a year. When someone dies, the family is guarded and supported strongly for awhile, but life seems to go on and sometimes the second or third year is harder for them due to activity slowing down and people not stopping by so often. Please remember to remember. In other words, when you think of them, let them know, even if its a card or phone call, or a small message on this board. I know I will.

Stay safe,
Amy Campbell

Detective Amy Campbell
Springdale Police Dept. OHIO

February 27, 2007

Dear Detective Armel. My family and I live in the Sully District. From our hearts we thank you for protecting us. We support you and your fellow officers, and we will always remember your heroic actions and the ultimate sacrifice you made. I am riding for the first time in the 2007 Police Unity Tour for you and your fallen partner MPO Michael Garbarino. Thank you again.
Kevin Whalen
Centreville, Virginia

Special Agent Kevin Whalen
U.S.HUD-OIG

February 23, 2007

On May 9, 2007, one day after her one year EOW anniversary, I will be riding over 300 miles in the 2007 Police Unity Tour in Vicky's memory. I cried the moment I heard about her death. I am a detective and have a husband that is an officer. The similarities to my life and Vicky's have been chilling. I want to take this opportunity to send her family my deepest sympathy and let them know.... she will NOT be forgotten!! Too many times we all have walked out of our departments heading for a call, or home, not feeling the possible dangers around us. Detective Armel will, like so many others before her, be the life-saving memory that keeps us from making deadly mistakes. I know I don't walk anywhere anymore feeling 100% protected, that alone may someday save my life.
If anyone makes it to the memorial this May that is a part of Vicky's life, I would love to meet you and learn more about her. I also encourage everyone to give to the Unity Tour (Unitytour.com), a non-profit organization where proceeds go to the National Police Memorial in Washington, DC. If you want to support my ride and Detective Armel, please list our names when sending donations. Also Fairfax County has her family's fund on their website. We should always remember, support, and learn from the memories of the ones that gave their lives in the name of justice.
[email protected]

DETECTIVE AMY CAMPBELL
SPRINGDALE PD OHIO

February 22, 2007

On May 9, 2007, one day after her one year EOW anniversary, I will be riding over 300 miles in the 2007 Police Unity Tour in Vicky's memory. I cried the moment I heard about her death. I am a detective and have a husband that is an officer. The similarities to my life and Vicky's have been chilling. I want to take this opportunity to send her family my deepest sympathy and let them know.... she will NOT be forgotten!! Too many times we all have walked out of our departments heading for a call, or home, not feeling the possible dangers around us. Detective Armel will, like so many others before her, be the life-saving memory that keeps us from making deadly mistakes. I know I don't walk anywhere anymore feeling 100% protected, that alone may someday save my life.
If anyone makes it to the memorial this May that is a part of Vicky's life, I would love to meet you and learn more about her. I also encourage everyone to give to the Unity Tour (Unitytour.com), a non-profit organization where proceeds go to the National Police Memorial in Washington, DC. If you want to support my ride and Detective Armel, please list our names when sending donations. Also Fairfax County has her family's fund on their website. We should always remember, support, and learn from the memories of the ones that gave their lives in the name of justice.
[email protected]

DETECTIVE AMY CAMPBELL
SPRINGDALE PD OHIO

February 22, 2007

To this day and always will people remember you not only as a great officer but as a great friend and family member. People still have great things to say about you. I miss and love you sooo much.

Ryan Bartholomew
Nephew

February 22, 2007

My name is Usman Saleem and I am a Recruit Officer for the United States Capitol Police. I am currently in training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, GA, to become a Police Officer with the United States Capitol Police. I would like to dedicate my training to Detective Vicky Anne Owen Armel. The reason behind me picking Armel is because I grow up in Fairfax County. I am sure that she and her department played a big part in keeping me safe as a child

Recruit Officer Usman Saleem
United States Capitol Police

February 7, 2007

Vicky, I will never forget how helpful you were every time I arrived at Sully looking for help. The last time I saw you, you were at your desk. Your lovely smile was captivating. As always, you assisted me in every way possible. I saw your husband at our memorial several months ago. His confidence and strength filled my heart with hope. Hope that we are not just here to answer calls, investigate major crimes, and deal with citizens complaints. We are here for a higher calling. Vicky, you paid the ultimate price for the citizens of this community. I still do not have the courage to speak to your husband, a wonderful officer on our department. Thank god his presence gives me the courage I need to face the job we do daily. You are missed.

Detective CIB
Fairfax County Police

February 4, 2007

I am still very saddened, angered and shocked by this senseless tragedy. My grandfather was one of the original first seven policemen appointed when this department was chartered and I was born in Fairfax, so this hit close to home. Coming into a police station shooting is a home invasion in the house of the extended family of all of us. This is just horrible. At least the monster who did this vile deed is gone and he cannot hurt anyone else. I tahnk you Detective Armel for standing in the literal line of fire and taking rounds to protect your brother and sister officers.

John 15.13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

I pray for the family, friends and colleagues of this fine detective. I am very sorry for the loss of this good lady and officer. We must remember as we mourn the loss to celebrate the life.

Detective Armel's dedication, honesty and bravery will not be forgotten. With her final roll call complete and her last shift over here in this life, she now walks a beat in Heaven with St. Michael.

Rest easy sister, we have the watch from here. Be careful out there brothers and sisters!

Chief JA Millan
NC Public Schools, Avery Dist. LEO

February 2, 2007

Vicky it is now Feb. 1st. 2007 and i am now retired from the force and living in Florida. As i sat in my office tonite I reflected back to that horrible day in May and how I was frantically fighting traffic to get to the scene of the shooting, unfortunately i was too late to make a difference for you and Mike Garbarino. I will always remember you as a genuinely kind person and one of the best police officers we had. You have always impressed me. I know that you are in a better place now, and want you to know that i think of you everyday. I can tell you it still hurts as bad as it did on that day in May. Rest in peace.

Detective Greg Holloway

Detective Greg Holloway (retired)
Fairfax County Police

February 1, 2007

Hey Vicky the irony in your death is that you were the one who thought me that we all bleed red and not to take oneself so serious that we forget that we are not in control. God is in control and he makes no mistake.

officer breedlove
HPD

January 22, 2007

As a fellow officer I am glad that God touched Vicky's life not only has her beliefs touched so many unsaved people but it has helped to renew my faith. We'll see you in time keep the coffee hot!!

SSG (RET) MICHAEL A EWING SR
US ARMY MILITARY POLICE K-9

January 12, 2007

DUTY..HONOR..COURAGE..VALOR..LOYALTY.. NOT JUST WORDS TO THIS WOMAN.

MPO III RICK DIETZ
HIGH POINT N.C. POLICE DEPARTMENT

January 10, 2007

Hey Vicky. We're into the new year of 2007 now. Not a single day has gone by that I have not thought of you since that awful day in May. You haunt my dreams on a weekly basis. In truth though I look forward to those dreams just so I can hang out with you. Last week at my church during the prayers for the people, I prayed for all the LEO's who gave their life in 2006. But it was your face pictured in my mind's eye. I'm so very thankful for this site where I can read reflections from others known and unknown. I think of your mom and sisters so often and pray that they are healing. And for Tyler, Thomas and Masen, that their holidays were blessed with joyous memories of you.

Jeanne Placon, MPO (ret.) VPD

January 8, 2007

I was devistated to hear of this attack. Even though I am no longer serving as a police officer I still have love for my brothers and sisters. You will be missed.

Former Officer J.W. Snodgrass
FCPD 2723

December 26, 2006

Hey Vicky,
Merry Christmas.I miss you.

Sandy

December 25, 2006

MERRY CHRISTMAS DET. ARMEL, I WILL BE THINKING OF YOU AS I PATROL THE HIGHWAY'S THIS HOLIDAY SEASON. PLEASE WATCH OVER US ALL, YOU ARE A TURE HERO. GOD BLESS YOU !

PRESTON ELLIS TRAFFIC UNIT
KINSTON POLICE DEPT.

December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas Vicky,
Thanks again for showing me what the CHRIST in Christmas is for.
Alexy

A J ABDO
HPD

December 24, 2006

Vicky, I never had the opportunity to meet you before I retired and I just wanted to say that I am very proud of your actions along with Mike's on that terrible day in May. I would like to leave you this Christmas season a tribute to you and Mike which appeared in the Washington Post.

Merry Christmas to you and to your family.



Medals of Valor for Slain Sully Officers
Police Divulge New Details of May Shootout

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 20, 2006; B01



When the shooting started outside the Sully police station May 8, Fairfax County Detective Vicky O. Armel could have ducked behind her car or run back inside. Instead, she tried to draw fire away from a fellow officer and decided to shoot it out with a deranged teenager carrying far more firepower.

The gunman, wielding an AK-47-type rifle, fired 20 shots at officer Michael E. Garbarino, hitting him five times. But Garbarino stayed on his police radio, instructing people how to respond and avoid danger, praying aloud and then staggering to a helicopter, vowing, "I'm not going to die here."

Armel and Garbarino both died at the hands of 18-year-old Michael W. Kennedy, who was then killed by two other officers. Fairfax County police yesterday revealed powerful new details of the historic shooting to coincide with the announcement of the county Chamber of Commerce's annual valor awards.

"My men and women on May 8 just responded with incredible courage," Fairfax Chief David M. Rohrer said. Rohrer listened to Garbarino's radio transmissions that afternoon, advising where a rescue helicopter could safely land and warning officers from a nearby federal agency to stay away.

"It's what you fear, as a chief," Rohrer said. "We heard this ongoing; we heard the gunfire in the background."

In an 18-page narrative, police filled in many of the missing pieces from their most tragic day, including how two officers from other stations came up with an impromptu plan to ambush Kennedy and end the siege at Sully.

Police said yesterday that Kennedy had tried and failed to steal two vehicles from his neighborhood in Centreville before stealing a white van on his third attempt. He wore camouflage-style clothes, kneepads, a ski mask and a vest loaded with ammunition. Police said he carried an AK-47 type rifle, a .30-06 rifle, four .22-caliber handguns and one .38-caliber handgun.

Kennedy drove the van into the back parking lot of the Sully station at 3:52 p.m. Garbarino, 53, and Armel, 40, had both walked into the lot about the same time and then walked to their cars in separate areas of the lot. Garbarino's shift had just ended, and police think he was sitting in his unmarked cruiser to log off his computer before getting into his car to begin his vacation.

Armel went to her unmarked car to investigate Kennedy's carjacking. She put on her bulletproof vest and was outside her car when Kennedy, on foot and just a few yards from Garbarino, began firing into Garbarino's car.

Garbarino called in the shooting and radioed instructions for a rescue helicopter to land in the station's front lot. Rohrer said Garbarino was probably in and out of consciousness.

"Garbarino prayed and asked God's forgiveness for his sins," the police narrative continues, "all the while continuing to guide his fellow officers."

Kennedy apparently had not spotted Armel. But she somehow attracted his attention to draw him away from Garbarino. She fired seven shots from her 9 mm handgun, police said, and Kennedy then directed his attack toward her.

"She could have left," Rohrer said. "She engaged Mr. Kennedy with a desire to save lives."

Armel was struck in the chest with a .30-06 round that pierced her vest, but she still made it inside her car. She fired four more times at Kennedy, even as she was hit twice more in the legs with AK-47 rounds.

Officer Richard A. Lehr was sitting in another corner of the parking lot, in his sport-utility vehicle, waiting for his shift to begin. He had no police radio and didn't know anyone else had been wounded. He climbed into the back of the vehicle, police said, put on his bulletproof vest, picked up his revolver and started shooting at Kennedy.

Lehr believed he had struck Kennedy in the upper body, knocking him down, police said. But Lehr soon ran out of ammunition. He darted into the station, barely evading Kennedy's gunfire, reloaded and, instead of waiting for the gunfight to end, went back outside.

Officers Mark Dale, a K-9 officer, and Jeffrey Andrea of the Mount Vernon station heard Garbarino on the radio and went to help. Meeting up along Stonecroft Boulevard, the two quickly devised a plan to enter the woods next to the parking lot. Dale had an M-16 rifle and a handgun; Andrea had a handgun.

The two officers began firing through a chain-link fence, woven with plastic slats, once they spotted Kennedy. Kennedy went down, and both officers jumped over the fence -- even though they had no idea whether Kennedy was dead or acting alone. The two are credited with killing Kennedy. Meanwhile, officer William F. Horn and Lt. Boyd F. Thompson led the effort to help pull Garbarino to safety.

Kennedy had recently fled from a mental health facility in Maryland, and was free on bond after a carjacking near the facility. His parents are being investigated by federal authorities for possibly allowing him illegal access to their cache of guns. Their attorney, Richard F. MacDowell, declined to comment last night.

Armel and Garbarino were the first Fairfax officers slain in the department's 66-year history. They and Lehr will receive the first gold medals for valor since 1997. Two others -- a Fairfax police officer in 1994 and a Fairfax firefighter in 1997 -- have received the gold medal since the chamber began recognizing public service bravery in 1978.

For months, Fairfax police declined to discuss the shootings. But they released the narrative yesterday to coincide with the chamber's announcement of the awards, police spokeswoman Mary Ann Jennings said. The awards will be given at a luncheon March 1.

MPO Perry Knicely
Fairfax County PD - Retired

December 21, 2006

I would like to tell the families of the two fallen officers from the incident of May 8, 2006, that they are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

Jean Gardner
Citizen of Prince William County

December 20, 2006

Vicky, as we approach Christmas it is important to know that we have not forgotten you or Gabby and what you both did for us that afternoon, as a community and as members of the Law Enforcement Community. I was very pleased to hear you and Gabby will receive honors within the next few months for your sacrifice. Please stand watch over us as we continue to work the roads and know that we here in Northern Virgnia, from all Departments, still think of you both.

State Police Trooper
Virginia State Police

December 20, 2006

Vicki, I still think about you and Gabby often. I met with Tyler,Thomas and Mason on Sunday and gave them their Christmas gifts. The smiles on their faces brought a great deal of happiness to me. Christmas is a time for the childern, to make them happy and smile is very important. I just wanted to let you know that we all miss you and think about you often.

Bill Horn, Master Patrol Officer
Fairfax County PD, Motors

December 20, 2006

Vicky, today the recipients of the valor awards were announced. How we wish you and Gabby could be there in March '07 to receive your gold medals in person! You are my heroes....

Fairfax County Dispatcher
Fairfax County DPSC

December 19, 2006

Always thinking of you and Gabby. God bless both of you.

December 17, 2006

Recently I had the oppurtunity to visit Sully for the 1st time. I must say I had to take a deep breath before i walked in. I was working that horrible day at communications and heard it all on the radio. In the station I made it a point to walk to the back doors and look in the back lot,sally port to the left and to the right there it was your space empty with a black ribbon across the sign. All I could hear was the pounding of the bullets hitting the station and Gabby's voice. I stood there for a while and played the events in my head. Before the shooting I applied to be an Officer with the county and that day only fueled my desire more. It was a long process but I am very proud to say that I was recently hired and scheduled to start the Jan academy. I hope and pray that I can be at least half the officer you were and can make a difference as you did.

you are dearly missed

Recruit
FCPD

December 16, 2006

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