Two security guards and a Loudoun County sheriff’s deputy were injured in a shooting at the Dulles Crossing Plaza shopping center in Sterling on Jan. 2. Around 8 p.m., the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office announced a suspect in the shooting was in custody.
All three shooting victims were taken to a local hospital. The two security guards have since been released from the hospital, the LCSO said Monday. The sheriff’s deputy remains hospitalized in stable condition.
On Wednesday, the LCSO identified the suspect as Steven E. Thodos, 33, of Sterling. He was charged with 11 felonies, including two counts of attempted first degree murder and two counts of aggravated malicious wounding. He is being held at the Loudoun jail on no bond.
Shortly before 5 p.m., customers heard multiple gunshots inside the shopping center’s Walmart store, according to reports. “When I saw the employees running outside, I ran in the same direction and went straight home,” a Walmart customer tweeted.
Speaking to reporters from the shopping center Jan. 2. Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman said the suspect was taken to the Walmart store’s security office after he was accused of shoplifting.
Two security guards reportedly saw the suspect stealing items from the store. As two Loudoun sheriff’s deputies responded to take the man into custody, the suspect began to struggle with them and pulled out a gun. The suspect then fired his gun several times, striking one deputy and the two security guards, according to the LCSO.
Chapman said the security guards and sheriff’s deputy were shot in the lower extremities at a close range. Thodos, who was also shot by a sheriff’s deputy, then ran out of the store while exchanging fire with another deputy. He then stole a truck from a nearby parking lot and drove off, according to the LCSO.
Fairfax County Police Department officers followed the suspect’s vehicle, which ended up crashing in the Chantilly area. He was later taken into custody by the Fairfax County Police Department on Pennsboro Drive. He was taken to an area hospital for treatment of his injuries.
Charges in the incident are pending, according to the LCSO. The sheriff’s office has yet to release the name of the suspect in the shooting.The shooting occurred in the same shopping center where a Bank of America branch was robbed earlier in the day by an armed man. The incidents are not considered related.