Va. man assaults wife with hatchet, takes his own life with chainsaw

A 76-year-old woman suffered non-life threatening injuries after police say her 70-year-old husband assaulted her with a hatchet before taking his own life with a chainsaw.

SPRINGFIELD, VA (WUSA9) - A 76-year-old woman suffered non-life threatening injuries after police say her 70-year-old husband assaulted her with a hatchet before taking his own life with a chainsaw. 

Police were called to a home Springfield Hills Drive for the report of a domestic dispute around 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Upon arrival, officers found the woman with injuries from the blunt force end of a hatchet and a man in the garage suffering from life-threatening injuries.

A family member came to the home and was unable to open the front door. Police say the family member pushed opened the door and saw the man assaulting his wife in the foyer. 

The family member was able to rescue the victim and take her outside. The man followed them outside where they struggled over the weapon. The man eventually returned to the home and shut the door. 

The suspect was taken to the hospital where police say he later died. 

Fairfax County Police told WUSA 9 there have been no calls for service to that residence or for the individuals involved in yesterday’s incident

Nicole Acosta with the Fairfax County Office for Women and Domestic and Sexual Violence said domestic violence is a problem.

Last year, there were nearly 200 families looking for emergency shelter, and the county helped more than one thousand victims.

That number is up 250 people from last year.

Fairfax County is receiving fewer calls to its hotline, but data from 2016 shows more than 74,000 hotline calls across the state.

"I think what we are seeing is we’re seeing survivors who are reporting domestic violence to law enforcement with an increased risk of potential serious injury or homicide," Acosta explained.

Fairfax County also has a program where it trains abusers on how to change their behaviors.

If you or anyone you know needs help, call the hotline at 703-360-7273 or visit this website.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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