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Virginia detective commits suicide as police move in to make arrest

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David Edward Abbott Jr.’ (PHOTO: ( Prince William County Police)

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — A Manassas police detective who served on the Northern Virginia-Washington D.C. Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force killed himself as police prepared to arrest him. David Edward Abbott Jr., 39, of Gainesville, was suspected of making inappropriate contact with children he met in a youth hockey league where he coached, police said.

“When detectives made contact with the accused at the home [on Tuesday], he refused to surrender to law enforcement. The accused was believed to be armed and precautions were taken to evacuate neighboring residences,” a Prince William Police spokesperson said. “While detectives were communicating with the accused, he pulled out a handgun and shot himself. The accused was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Detectives launched the investigation Monday and determined Abbott used phone calls, text messages, social media and email to solicit sexual acts from a 13-year-old boy he met in a Prince William County hockey league.

“The accused also had face to face interactions with the victim. During the investigation, detectives learned of a second male victim who also affiliated with the hockey league and had inappropriate communication with the accused which began in June of 2008 when the victim was 13 years old,” police said.

The Washington Post reported Abbott was involved in a controversial teen sexting case.

Abbott was the lead detective in a child pornography investigation last year in which a Manassas City teen was charged with sending explicit video of himself to his girlfriend. In order to establish that the teen was the person in the video, Abbott and Prince William prosecutors obtained a search warrant to take a photo of the teen’s erect penis, for comparison with the explicit video.

The teen’s attorneys criticized the warrant as inappropriate, and the police and prosecutors later withdrew it. The teen was later placed on probation for a year, and police said in a news release that prosecutors had instructed Abbott to obtain the controversial warrant.