augusta free press news

Suspect in Harrisonburg shooting found dead

(© annette shaff –

A man who fired a dozen shots from a vehicle at a Harrisonburg residence as a police officer was investigating reported threats Tuesday night was found dead shortly after midnight.

John Fitch, 21, of Henrico County, was located inside his vehicle deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Harrisonburg Police.

Fitch had been wanted in connection with the shooting incident, which had been reported around 8 p.m. and took place in the 2300 block of Purple and Gold Way, according to HPD.

Neither the officer nor the complainant were struck by any of the rounds, and there were no injuries reported. 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 shelter-in-place order was sent through the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Emergency Communications Center. Additional officers quickly converged on the scene and secured the immediate area.

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 had obtained warrants against 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.

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, 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).