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(Updated at 6:15 p.m.) — Bailey’s Crossroads, including Route 7 and Crossroads Place, has reopened and shelter-in-place orders have been lifted after reported gunshots prompted a massive police response to the area.

The Fairfax County Police Department continues to investigate the shooting, which reportedly damaged two cars in the 3500 block of Jefferson Street but didn’t result in any injuries.

Initial reports suggested the shots came from a “high-powered rifle” in a nearby high-rise, but police now say detectives have determined that they were fired by a handgun at ground level, according to a press conference broadcast live by NBC4.

“Detectives determined the gunfire was not from an elevated position or from a high caliber weapon,” the FCPD said. “Detectives continue to investigate & remain in the area.”

Throughout this afternoon (Friday), Bailey’s Crossroads residents and visitors were directed to shelter in place after police received a “shots fired” call at 11:15 a.m.

According to scanner traffic, a driver reported hearing a loud noise, and the rear window of their car shattered. Officers at the scene determined that two to three vehicles parked at the Crossroads Place shopping center had been damaged by gunfire.

Two people had been standing in the proximity of both vehicles at the time of the shooting, but neither of them were hit. Police currently believe that the shooting was random, and there is no indication that the people whose cars were hit knew each other, FCPD Lt. Dan Spital told media.

“We have no reason to believe that any specific individual was targeted in the shooting,” he said at the briefing.

Around 12:30 p.m., police told FFXnow that it wasn’t considered an active shooter situation, meaning there was no ongoing gunfire.

However, Crossroads Place was completely blocked off, and Leesburg Pike shut down in both directions. Fairfax County Public Schools also issued “secure the building” alerts at Bailey’s and Glen Forest elementary schools.

“[That] means no outside activities are occurring right now, everyone has been brought inside, doors are locked and the learning continues,” an FCPS spokesperson said around 2 p.m.

Arlington took similar actions at Wakefield High School and Claremont Elementary School.

“Wakefield has been notified of an incident involving police activity near the school,” Arlington Public Schools said. “As a precaution, we have placed the school in Secure-the-Building* status. This means that all doors are locked and no one can leave or enter the building as a precaution.”

FCPD had helicopter, special operations, and patrol officers involved in the search. Arlington first responder units were also dispatched to assist.

While no additional shots were reported after the initial call, Spital said the large emergency response was appropriate, since “we’re always going to err on the side of caution.” Police have not identified any suspects, but the investigation is ongoing, and community members are advised to remain “cognizant.”

“We’re not aware if [the shots] came from a vehicle or a person walking by, but we do have some active leads. We’re combing through a lot of evidence,” Spital said.

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The organizations that make up the new collaborative, Northern Virginia Local Arts Agencies (courtesy ArtsFairfax)

Arts agencies from Fairfax County, Arlington and Alexandria are forming a supergroup.

Unveiled Monday (Aug. 8), the newly created Northern Virginia Local Arts Agencies (NVLAA) consists of ArtsFairfax, the Alexandria Office of the Arts, and the Arlington Cultural Affairs Office. Its initial ambitions are modest, centered mostly on professional development, but the pooled resources could be a boon for the local arts community.

“The more opportunities that are available and cross-promotion that we can provide, getting the word out and reaching artists and organizations that can use this type of support, it benefits everyone,” ArtsFairfax Senior Director of Grants & Services Lisa Mariam said, noting that many artists do work across the three jurisdictions.

The collective can trace its origins back to the pre-pandemic days of early 2020, when the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts approached all three agencies to see if they were interested in collaborating on workshops for artists, Mariam told FFXnow.

Formed in 1983, WALA is a nonprofit of volunteering lawyers who provide education, advocacy, and legal services to artists and cultural organizations in the D.C. area, according to its website.

The groups started planning a series of workshops that Mariam says was always intended to be virtual, since it would serve participants from across the region. That decision proved fortuitous, though, after COVID-19 shut down in-person gatherings and events in the spring of 2020.

The desire to collaborate reemerged last year when ArtsFairfax invited its Arlington and Alexandria counterparts to an “Art of Mass Gatherings” symposium aimed at helping festivals prepare for emergencies. Though based in McLean, the event drew participants from all three localities over two days in October.

After that experience, staff at the different agencies started discussing other ways to collaborate, especially for professional development, as local arts groups were trying to find their footing during the pandemic.

“It’s been really great for us, because we each have limited resources for this type of programming,” Mariam said. “Sharing the costs as well as the logistical support involved in pulling off these programs and promoting them works really well with a collaborative like this.”

ArtsFairfax received nearly $1.4 million from Fairfax County for the current fiscal year, which started on July 1. That included a $250,000 increase over the previous year to bolster the agency’s grants program. The organization also gets funding from state, federal, nonprofit and private sources.

NVLAA will officially launch this fall with four online workshops: Read More

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