Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Master Police Officer Michael E. Garbarino

Fairfax County Police Department, Virginia

End of Watch Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Master Police Officer Michael E. Garbarino

In consideration of your ultimate sacrifice nearly one year ago, we offer your colleagues on the Fairfax County Police Department, to your family and to you our sincere thanks for everything you did for us and what your fellow officers continue to do in your memory. Thanks.

John and Patti Witherspoon
Residents of Centreville, VA

May 2, 2007


May 8 is fast approaching and the overwhelming feelings of the loss of you and Vicky grow stronger as the day nears. We are working on the remembrance ceremony and hope that we can honor you and Vicky as you should be remembered. Lately I catch myself thinking I just heard you in the hallway of the station only to be brought back to reality with a sharp jolt. The memorials in the back lot are coming along and will be finished for the ceremony. We promised to never park in yours and Vicky's spots again, and this is a promise we are fulfilling. The gardens will be nice. I see Sue and the girls once in a while and they are doing very well. They are an inspiration to us all.

In approximately 9 weeks I will be giving birth to a little girl - Victoria Grace. She is named in honor of Vicky and you (Grace being your mom's name). She will be raised to know about you and Vicky and the ultimate sacrifice you made for your friends. She will know she was named for two heroes. I hope she grows to be a strong person in character and faith and carries herself to honor you and Vicky. I thank you daily for saving my life on May 8 - another 5 seconds I would have been running out the back door into unknown gunfire. I grieve every day for you and Vicky and the ultimate sacrifice you gave for all of us.

You are missed every day and fondly thought of. God bless you Gabby.


PFC Mary Hulse

April 9, 2007

My prayers are with your family and friends today, Easter Sunday, and every day. I will never forget that day. Thank you for your sacrifice. God Bless you.

April 8, 2007

Happy easter Mike,
Still miss our talks


April 8, 2007

Never Forgotten my hero, My heart still weeps for you and your family, God Bless us all.

April 5, 2007

Heroes never die. You are still greatly missed by the lives you directly and indirectly touched. You'll never be forgotten. My prayers continue to be with your family. Rest in peace brother. We've got it from here.

PFC K.L. Huddleston #243
Fairfax County Sheriff's Department (VA)

April 5, 2007

I will always remember the day we talked about retirement. I was retiring and you were so close. It was such an exciting time.

I can't believe it ended this way............

Mike, you deserved better............

March 29, 2007

Hey Gabby..I still think about you and Vicky on a daily basis. Now supervising a Midnight Shift I find myself ofter sitting in my cruiser wondering if I could have done more that day. I often close my eyes and just think of that day then I hear your voice on the radio. Your words saved me that day.
The other night I was thinking back when we were working downtown McLean daywork when I drove up behind you at the carwash. I was having a rough time being a rookie feeling like I did not fit in then I saw you. I was so happy to see your smiling face I jumped of the cruiser to talk to you that I forgot to put it in park. Well needless to say I was able to throw it in to park only to come within an inch or two of rearending your cruiser. We spoke for a little bit and I walked away feeling 10 feet tall. You always made me feel important and treated me like family. I miss you soooo much.....
Well that's enough ramblig...I just can't help to wonder why...
Rest in Peace my Brother in Blue...Say Hi to Vicky...

March 24, 2007

Dir Sir,
Having grown up in Fairfax County, with a parent who was a dispatcher, and knowing many of its police officers your loss made a big impact. I remember the day clearly. Working the midnight shift where I am, my old roommate called me to wake me up. He told me a police station was under attack in Fairfax County. I could not believe him, thinking it was a horrible joke. I had to check the internet since I was not in the local area. I saw the headlines on the computer screen and was shocked. I still am shocked to think that something like that could happen where I am from. I remember how bad I felt when I heard about Vicky that day. I also remember thinking about you, hoping I would hear from my folks saying you had recovered. I guess it was not to be. Thank you for your service. Hearing about your bravery that day makes me walk a little taller. Rest in peace.

Norfolk Police Department #1687
Norfolk Police Department #1687

March 21, 2007

Good morning Mike

How I do miss saying that to you. Its been 10 months since we lost you Mike. Funny I was just thinking how everyone called you Gabby. I never did you were always Mike to me. One of the first MPO's I met and worked with, always working hard and helping everyone else. Now as I sit here I hope I am half the MPO you were.

I still remember when we first transfered to Sully how great it was to be in a new station from Mclean. You looked at me and said Vinnie we did good. Yes Mike we did, well before I lose it I am going to say goodbye. I will be riding in the law ride as always, I will say hi again then.

Your friend


MPO Vincent DarConte
FCPD Sully Station

March 15, 2007


I know you were looking down proudly today as your wife accepted the Gold Medal on your behalf. You are missed and thought of every day. No one will EVER forget you or the example you have left for us of a fine police officer and a wonderful man. You lived your life with honor every day. God Bless You and your family.

Kelly Gulich

March 1, 2007

Gabby, i still remember you chasing us around in High School. I was fortunate enough to work with you at McLean station and reflect on those days with you.. I still remember working out at the academy and your wife and kids there by your side as you trained. I know this is not the way you thought it was going to end. You were a proud father and husband. I remember our conversations about retiring and moving on like most of us do. I enjoyed the times we shared in the field as well as with your family at the academy. Every day i go to work i remeber that day in May of 2006 and recall how you were able to put out the broadcast to other officers not to come outside....i heard those tapes.....Mike you did a good job...when your daughters get older i hope they realize that your broadcast saved others lives including my brother....You did good...i will never forget you!

February 25, 2007

Dear MPO Garbarino. Thank you for protecting my family and I who live in the Sully District. We support you and your fellow officers. 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 Detective Armel. Thank you again.
Kevin Whalen
Centreville, Virginia

Special Agent Kevin Whalen

February 23, 2007

Gabby, I sat here this morning reflecting on May 8, 2006. This is something I do almost daily. Today was like many other days, I sat crying, wondering when the pain from that day will lesson. The pain your family has endured will never leave my heart. I assisted you only days before with a case. You were so kind to the citizen even as you placed him under arrest. Your words re-assured him he would be o.k. After the warrant was served you drove him back to his vehicle, shook his hand and told him good luck. You were so kind.

Detective CIB
Fairfax County Police

February 3, 2007

I am still shocked and saddened by this senseless tragedy. My grandfather was one of the first seven county policemen appointed at the birth of the department and I was born in Fairfax, so this hits close to home. While we mourn the passing of the hero, we must not forget to celebrate the life.

I know that MPO Garbarino now walks a beat in Heaven with St. Michael. His sacrific, dedication and bravery will not be forgotten. Rest easy brother, we have the watch from here. BE safe out there brother and sister officers.

Chief JA Millan
NC Public Schools, Avery Dist. LEO

February 2, 2007

Mike it is now Feb. 1st 2007 and I have retired to Florida. I'm sitting here in my home and thought about you and Vicky and all of the grief comes back as if it were that day in May again. I arrived at Sully station the day of the shooting,unfortunately too late to make a difference for you. Will never forget how you always had a smile and a great attitude. I know your in a better place. Detective Greg Holloway (retired)

Detective Greg Holloway (retired)
Fairfax Co. Police

February 1, 2007

Gabby it is now 2007, how I wish you were here!
God bless you my hero!

January 20, 2007

Dearest Gabby,
You are missed every day. God bless you always.

"Heroes Live Forever"

January 17, 2007

Mike, I was deeply saddened when I heard about your death in the line of duty. I still remember the times I rode with you and the many talks we had concerning your interest in WWII and my participation in it. I still see you with that wonderful smile on your face and remember your dedication to the Fairfax County Police Department and the citizens of the county. I also recall your conversations concerning your family and your participation in your church. I know you are safely in the arms of our Lord and are helping to prepare a place for all of us. I thank God for having had the honor of knowing you. We all miss you.

Allen Minter
Former Chaplain, McLean Station

December 28, 2006

I wish you Sue and the kids a very Merry Christmas.


December 24, 2006

Mike, I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to you and your family. I have been thinking of you a great deal and I miss you dearly. Yesterday the Washington Post published an article about you and Vicky and the actions both of you took in an attempt to save lives.

I was lucky enough to work with you for many years and know how dedicated you are to both the public and to the greatest Police Department in this country. In your honor and Vicky's I have included the article from the Washington Post that shows the acts of bravery that you and Vicky took. I want the people who come upon your reflections and that of Vicky's to understand exactly what the two of you did.

You are my hero....Merry Christmas

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

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

Fairfax County Dispatcher
Fairfax County DPSC

December 19, 2006

Please know that you and Vicky are in our thoughts every day, especially now as the holidays are approaching. I know that you are watching over us. God Bless You! Merry Christmas to you and your families!


December 19, 2006

Gabby it has been 7 months today that the Lord called you home, I know you are in a beautiful place, you are a Angel. My heart still hurts so much for what has happen to you and your family. I know you died doing what you loved, you are my hero and will always be. I pray your wife and girls have found some peace. That day in May changed everything, it really taught me how short life is. Please watch over your brothers and sisters on the street. God bless you

Proud wife of Fairfax county officer

December 17, 2006

Mike, God bless you and your family, not a day goes by that I don't think of you and Vicky...Thank you for everything you did for me, your kind words of support meant so much to me then and now. I read this poem yesterday and thought of you and about our conversations.

With the gift of listening comes the gift of healing, because listening to your brother's or sister's until they have said the last words in their hearts is healing and consoling.
Someone has said that it is possible "To listen a person's soul into existence". I like that... Catherine deHueck Doherty..
With the holiday around the corner I wanted to say Merry Christmas to you and I will always hear you.


December 12, 2006

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