HPD: Suspect involved in shooting incident found dead

A police car.
A police car.(AP GraphicsBank)
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 9:01 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Harrisonburg Police Department says that a suspect involved in a shooting incident was found dead, and no other injuries were reported.

Officials say at approximately 8:00 pm on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, an HPD officer responded to a residence in the 2300 block of Purple and Gold Way for a report of threats.

HPD says while an officer was on the front porch speaking to the complainant, the suspect John Fitch, who was known to the complainant, fired at least a dozen rounds from a vehicle towards the residence and fled the scene.

Fortunately, neither the officer or the complainant were struck by any of the rounds and there were no injuries reported, HPD says. Multiple rounds did strike the residence several feet from where the officer and complainant were standing.

Due to the immediate danger to nearby residents, a 90-minute “shelter-in-place” order was sent through the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Emergency Communications Center (HRECC). HPD says additional officers quickly met on the scene and secured the immediate area.

HPD’s Major Crimes Unit (MCU) responded, and HPD reports that detectives were able to quickly identify the suspect as John Fitch, 21, of Henrico County, Virginia.

Assistance was requested from law enforcement agencies including the James Madison University Police Department, Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office, Goochland County Sheriff’s Office, Henrico County Police Department and the Virginia State Police.

HPD detectives obtained warrants against John Fitch for Attempted Capital Murder of a Police Officer and Attempted Capital Murder. Through investigative efforts, HPD was able to direct the Goochland County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Virginia State Police, to the suspect’s location.

Shortly after midnight, HPD says Fitch was located inside his vehicle deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. This incident remains under investigation by the Harrisonburg Police Department Major Crimes Unit.

If you were a witness to this crime or have any further information to assist in the investigation, HPD asks that you call Detective Alan Dyer at 540- 437-2650 or email him at

Anonymous tips related to this incident, or any crime can be sent to Crime Solvers at (540) 574-5050 or by texting “HPD” plus their tip to CRIMES (274637).

The original story can be found below.

Update: According to the Harrisonburg Police Department, the shelter-in-place has been lifted. Officials say the area is safe and there were no injuries.

HPD responded to the Charleston Townhomes on Tuesday night after receiving a report for electronic threats. Once police arrived on the scene, officials say several gunshots were fired from a vehicle that fled the scene.

Police initiated a shelter-in-place order for 90 minutes.

According to a police spokeswoman, police officers are on the scene in the area of Purple and Gold Way. This is near the intersection of Lucy Drive and Reservoir Street.

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Emergency Communication Center issued a reverse 911 call to residents on the east side of the city.

✅. UPDATE: “Shelter in place” for the area of Purple and Gold Way, Harrisonburg, has been lifted. ✅ Thank you to everyone for your cooperation and assistance.

Posted by Harrisonburg Police Department on Tuesday, September 14, 2021

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