<bt>Homicide detectives from Fairfax County Police Department are attempting to determine exactly what happened last week at Tysons Corner Center when police say McLean resident Esdibar Rosero stabbed and sexually assaulted an acquaintance at gunpoint and then turned the weapon on himself and committed suicide.
On Oct. 22, at 1 a.m., police officers were called to the shopping mall after a woman was found with multiple stab wounds. According to the police, the victim and assailant had a previous relationship. The woman was reportedly doing inventory at the store where she worked when Rosero, who was employed as a store security guard for the same establishment, confronted the woman in the store, held her at gunpoint and then sexually assaulted the woman. She was able to free herself from Rosero and get help from a mall security guard and construction workers.
“There are a lot of people working in the mall at night," said Sophia Grinnan, Fairfax County Police public information officer. "We have to evacuate the mall and check everybody. It’s not just get out and a free-for-all.” For several hours after the incident was reported, police officers systematically worked their way through the mall until they had a smaller, contained space in which they believed the assailant was located.
“We provide cover and shield for the fire and police department so they don’t get hurt,” said Grinnan. “Once they have the smaller area, our officers send in tactical units. All of this is an extremely time-consuming effort for everybody.”
JUST AFTER 4 A.M., the police tactical units located the store security guard, who was dead of an apparent suicide. Rosero, 38, resided on Lincoln Way.
The victim was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where she was admitted in serious but guarded condition, according to police. No other people were reported injured in the incident.
“We are cooperating with Fairfax County Police officials in their investigation of the incident, which took place inside a tenant’s space," said Kathy Hannon, Tysons Corner Center’s general manager. “They don’t just close the case because they know what happened. They want to put all the pieces in place so that they can tell people what happened and in case it ever goes to trial.”
“There is a misconception out there,” said Eric Kulczycky, a mall spokesman, “that this was a security guard who worked for the mall. It was a security guard who worked for a tenant. This was an incident between two people who knew each other and worked for one of our stores.”
Tysons Corner Center is the largest mall in the Washington, D.C., area and one of the largest shopping malls in the country. Regardless of its size, officials say this type of incident is rare. “Nothing like this has ever happened here before," Kulczycky said.
“Our thoughts are with the victim and the families of those impacted,” Hannon said.
Tysons Corner Center remains open during the investigation and is operating under its normal business hours.