One man was killed and another remains hospitalized after a shooting yesterday (Sunday) at Build America Plaza in Bailey’s Crossroads.
Fairfax County police were dispatched to the 3800 block of South George Mason Drive for reports of a shooting around 2:19 a.m., the department reported.
“Two adult men were found suffering from gunshot wounds to the upper body. Both men were taken to the hospital with injuries considered life-threatening,” the Fairfax County Police Department said.
The man who died has been identified as 24-year-old D.C. resident Maurice Anderson. The other man was in critical condition, police said.
Witnesses told police that multiple people “were all arguing” in the shopping center’s parking lot after leaving a restaurant when the suspect fired multiple shots, hitting the two men, according to scanner traffic.
While initial calls offered no description of the suspect, detectives determined that he left the scene in a vehicle. The FCPD released images believed to be of the shooter yesterday afternoon.
The department is asking anyone with possible information about the shooting to contact its detectives at 703-246-7800, option 2. Tips can also be shared anonymously by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) and online.
By FFXnow’s count, this was the seventh fatal shooting in Fairfax County so far in 2023.
Detectives are on scene continuing to investigate. The second victim is in critical care and remains hospitalized. No suspect description at this time.
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) May 7, 2023
Photo via Google Maps
To the relief of Bailey’s Crossroads residents, some traffic safety improvements are in the works for the often harrowing area where Columbia Pike and Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) meet.
Perhaps the most urgent change will be the addition of a pedestrian hybrid beacon at the crosswalk across Columbia Pike at Tyler Street — the intersection where a driver hit and killed Justice High School student Lesly Diaz-Bonilla in November.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved an allocation of $920,000 to fund improvements at the intersection on April 11 as part of a $25 million slate of pedestrian safety projects planned throughout the county.
In the wake of Diaz-Bonilla’s death, over 1,000 residents signed an in-person and online petition calling for a reduction of the speed limit on Columbia Pike from 35 to 25 mph and other changes to the intersection, according to the Bailey’s Crossroads & Culmore Place-Based Initiative (PBI) Coalition, a community initiative led by George Mason University.
“This is a daily route to school for many children, including my own, and a route to work for many of us in Culmore,” resident Laura Doughty said in a press release from the coalition. “The lack of safety features for pedestrians coupled with the high-speed traffic makes it extremely dangerous for those of us who walk in the community everyday.”
Just 17 years old, Diaz-Bonilla had dropped off a younger sibling at a bus stop in front of the Barcroft View Apartments when a sedan crashed into her shortly before 9 a.m. on Nov. 16. After the crash, community members said they’d raised concerns about the intersection’s safety for years.
A report released last summer found that high vehicle speeds, incomplete sidewalks and limited crossings make Bailey’s Crossroads dangerous for pedestrians, particularly along the major corridors of Columbia Pike and Route 7.
A pedestrian hybrid beacon requires vehicles to stop if a pedestrian is present and pushes an activation button. A rapid flashing beacon with a pedestrian refuge island could be considered at the Tyler Street crosswalk instead if a hybrid beacon “is not feasible or warranted,” county staff said in a list of the safety projects that the board approved.
The April 11 vote also designated $1.9 million for a sidewalk on westbound Route 7 in front of the Liberty Gas station at 5930 Leesburg Pike in Culmore. A pedestrian was killed there in December 2021.
By press time, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation hadn’t returned a request for comment on when the projects will be implemented.
So far, the county has allocated about $30 million out of the $100 million that the Board of Supervisors pledged to spend on active transportation safety projects over six years, starting in 2022.
The inclusion of the Bailey’s Crossroads improvements in the latest package is the result of advocacy by residents, businesses, nonprofits and other organizations that have united around the need for safer streets, PBI Coalition program manager and Fairfax Families for Safe Streets Board of Directors member Katie Wilson said.
“The PBI Coalition will continue building these pipelines between local residents, organizations, and county leadership to amplify resident voices and ultimately work in partnership to build a community where all thrive,” Wilson said.
(Updated at 5:05 p.m. on 4/18/2023) A 14-year-old teenager was shot near the Culmore shopping center.
Scanner traffic indicated that one person sustained a gunshot wound to the leg. The boy was transported to a hospital for his injuries, which may be life-threatening, the Fairfax County Police Department said.
Two other teenagers were seen running down Bellview towards Glenmore Drive, according to police.
“Preliminarily, detectives believe that two suspects are known to the victim,” the FCPD said in a news release. “The victim was shot multiple times.”
A dispatcher reported that there were several callers saying they have teenagers “that were shot at but not hit.” An officer on the scene said they had recovered a gun that the person who got shot reportedly “was waving around.”
Police established a perimeter across Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) in the hopes of trapping the suspects. A helicopter was dispatched to the scene. The FCPD advised avoiding the area.
This appears to be the second shooting in the Culmore area this year. Two people were hospitalized after getting shot on Glen Carlyn Drive on Jan. 5.
Officers on scene of a shot person near Bellview Dr & Glen Carlyn Dr. A male was found w/gunshot wounds & taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries. 2 men seen fleeing the scene. Preliminarily this does not appear to be a random act. Please avoid area. #FCPD pic.twitter.com/DINHBuY3jX
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) April 17, 2023
(Updated at 10:30 a.m.) Fairfax County police are investigating a string of robberies that all took place last month around the same block near Culmore, though it’s not clear yet if they’re connected.
According to police, a man identified as 23-year-old Josue David Argueta-Perez of Falls Church allegedly “displayed a knife, forcibly took the victim’s money then ran.”
“Officers found Argueta-Perez nearby and took him into custody,” the FCPD said. “Josue David Argueta-Perez was charged with robbery and is currently being held without bond.”
The police department says last week’s robbery was one of seven reported in Culmore around Glen Carlyn Drive and Bellview Drive this past March.
In most cases, a single man with a knife assaulted or used force to take money or property from the victims, but one incident at 10 p.m. on March 25 involved three suspects, according to police.
The victims were injured in some of the cases, but none were life-threatening, police told FFXnow.
The FCPD said its detectives are working to determine whether Argueta-Perez was involved in any of the other cases.
“The robberies in the Culmore area are still under investigation,” Sgt. Chris Rekas with the department’s public affairs bureau said. “It is unknown at this time if they’re all connected but we will update the community as the investigation continues.”
The department said its detectives are looking to talk to anyone who might have information about these or similar robberies:
If you are a victim of robbery, contact police as soon as practical to report the crime by calling 911. As always, report suspicious persons and activity by calling our non-emergency line at 703-691-2131.
Anyone with information regarding these incidents to call our Mason District Station Criminal Investigation Section at 703-256-8035. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), and by web – Click HERE. Download the ‘P3 Tips’ App “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.
(Updated at 2:25 p.m. to correct photo) Walgreens in Culmore has officially closed its doors.
The location at 6053 Leesburg Pike closed a little over a month ago, a company representative tells FFXnow.
Prescriptions from the pharmacy were automatically transferred to the CVS Pharmacy at 3401 Charles Street in Baileys Crossroads.
It’s unclear why this specific store was closed, but Walgreens spokesperson Kris Lathan told FFXnow that the company considers “several factors” when deciding to close a location:
As we expand as a leader in healthcare, we are focused on best meeting the needs of patients and customers in communities we serve by creating the right network of stores in the right locations. When faced with the difficult decision to close a particular location, several factors are taken into account, including our existing footprint of stores and dynamics of the local market, and changes in the buying habits of our patients and customers.
With the closure, Walgreens no longer has any locations in Bailey’s Crossroads. The closest store is the one at 6715A Arlington Blvd in West Falls Church.
The redevelopment of two empty commercial buildings in the Bailey’s Crossroads areas has been approved — along with a nearly $14 million partial tax break from Fairfax County.
At a meeting on Tuesday (Feb. 21), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved funds for the Skyline project through the county’s Economic Incentive Program, which allows qualifying properties to receive funds in the county’s five Commercial Revitalization Districts (CRDs).
Other CRDs are located in Annandale, McLean, Richmond Highway and Springfield, along with the revitalization area of Lincolnia. The program was designed to provide financial incentives to the private sector on projects that rely on assembling and developing properties.
The project would connect the long-vacant duo of office buildings (5113 and 5111 Leesburg Pike) into up to 510 live-and-work units, ranging from 600 to 1,300 square feet in size.
In a memo, county staff said that the project provides “crucial” affordable housing for families earning from 60 to 80% of the area median income.
Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross said the repurposing of the buildings is an important step to revitalize the area.
“Vacant office buildings don’t enhance community but work-life communities revitalize our community,” she said.
The buildings currently have nine office floors and a penthouse level on top of a three-story parking garage. The connecting building at 5109 Leesburg Pike would remain standing as commercial space.
The shift comes after Skyline buildings one through three received county approval in July and September 2020 for a similar repurposing of office space to up to 720 “live/work” units, FFXnow previously reported.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay called the proposal an “excellent” and “creative” use of funds in an area of the county that needs additional support.
(Updated at 11:50 p.m.) An instructional assistant at Glen Forest Elementary School in Bailey’s Crossroads was allegedly seen assaulting a student with disabilities last month.
Fairfax County Police Department detectives served a warrant for simple assault to Meredith Capets, a 36-year-old Alexandria resident, after she turned herself in at the Adult Detention Center last night (Tuesday), the department reported this morning.
According to police, another Glen Forest employee saw Capets assault the student on Dec. 8.
“The employee immediately reported the assault to school administrators,” the FCPD said. “Officers were notified of the incident that evening. Detectives conducted numerous interviews.”
Detectives with the department’s child abuse squad obtained the warrant yesterday. After being served, Capets was released on an unsecured bond.
Capets was placed on administrative leave “immediately” after the school learned about the assault, Glen Forest principal Diane Herndon-Wilson said in a message to families.
“As principal, my primary responsibility is the safety and security of everyone who enters the doors of Glen Forest,” Herndon-Wilson wrote. “This is something I take very seriously. As educators, we are entrusted with the wellbeing of the children in our care every day. It deeply affects us when someone appears to have broken that trust.”
The FCPD says anyone with additional information about the case can contact its Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 3, or submit an anonymous tip via Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIP) or online.
This is the fifth incident reported in 2022 where an FCPS employee allegedly assaulted a student with disabilities. An assistant at Dogwood Elementary School was arrested for an assault in September, and a Marshall High School special education teacher was arrested last month for assaulting a student twice.
Photo via Google Maps
A meet-up of car enthusiasts in Bailey’s Crossroads took a harrowing turn last night when air rifle shots were reportedly fired into the crowd.
The Fairfax County Police Department had officers at a shopping center parking lot in the 5500 block of Leesburg Pike, where a “Taco Tuesday” car meet organized by the group Capital Mischief was taking place.
Around 8:46 p.m., an unidentified person shot what were believed to be BB or pellet gun rounds toward the officers, according to an FCPD spokesperson.
No police officers were hit, but a preliminary investigation indicates that three to four vehicles and one or two people attending the meet were struck, police say.
“They were treated for injuries not considered life-threatening. No FCPD cruisers were struck,” FCPD spokesperson Tara Gerhard told FFXnow.
The officers cleared the parking lot following the shots fired incident.
In an Instagram story, Capital Mischief said the shots didn’t come from anyone at the car meet, but rather, from an apartment building across the street. Gerhard said that hasn’t been confirmed at this point in the investigation.
“We wish that everybody injured heals quickly & any cars damaged are fixed with the proper parties being held responsible,” Capital Mischief wrote. “We appreciate the cooperation & help of the local police in responding and helping the situation.”
H/t to Alan Henney
A Maryland driver is facing possible manslaughter and hit-and-run charges for a fatal, two-vehicle crash that occurred in Bailey’s Crossroads in May.
Tewodros Worku, 35, was arrested Monday (Dec. 19) by Fairfax County detectives and the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office, the Fairfax County Police Department announced yesterday.
According to the department, detectives with its Crash Reconstruction Unit determined that Worku was the driver of a 2018 Honda Accord that crashed into a 2016 Volkswagen Jetta on South George Mason Drive in front of Skyline Plaza on May 24, killing the Jetta’s passenger and hospitalizing two others.
“Worku originally ran from the scene of the crash. When found by our K-9 unit, he claimed to be a passenger. Detectives determined Worku was the driver of the Honda,” the FCPD said.
At the time, police reported that the Accord was traveling north on South George Mason when it hit the Jetta, which was going south and attempting to turn left into Skyline Plaza, a two-tower condominium complex.
Gladis Suyapa Deras, a 54-year-old Falls Church resident, died at the scene, becoming the fourth non-pedestrian to be killed in a crash on Fairfax County roads this year. The Jetta’s driver was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
According to police, the Accord driver and a passenger initially fled the scene, but they were located by K9 officers. One individual was arrested and charged with being drunk in public, while the other went to a hospital with injuries considered life-threatening.
The FCPD confirmed to FFXnow that Worku was the person arrested.
Fairfax County General District Court records show that an adjudicatory hearing was held on the misdemeanor charge on July 27. The prosecutor’s office opted not to pursue the charge, and Worku was released on a summons.
FCPD detectives have now obtained warrants for Worku charging him with DUI manslaughter and a felony hit-and-run. The warrants will be served and a trial date set once he’s extradited back to the county, the department said.
Photo via Google Maps
(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) A local high school student has died after a driver crashed into her in a crosswalk on Columbia Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads, Fairfax County police say.
Officers are currently at the scene of the crash at the intersection with Tyler Street and Barcroft View Terrace. Southbound Columbia Pike has been shut down at Lacy Blvd, and the northbound side of the street is down to one lane of traffic.
The teen was crossing Columbia Pike from the Barcroft View Apartments around 8:57 a.m. when a vehicle driving southbound struck her, Fairfax County Police Department Second Lt. Dan Spital told media.
“[It’s] a heartbreaking case that is honestly difficult to talk about,” Spital said.
According to police, the impact of the crash threw the teen “some distance from the crosswalk,” and she landed near a truck parked about 20 to 30 feet away. Witnesses attempted to provide life-saving measures before Fairfax County Fire and Rescue responders arrived, Spital said.
However, she ultimately succumbed to her injuries.
The driver remained at the scene, according to the FCPD, which advises drivers to use another route as the investigation continues.
When a reporter at the media briefing noted that this is the second fatal crash she has covered at that exact crosswalk, Spital called it a “dangerous intersection” with a 35 mph speed limit for traffic on Columbia Pike.
The crosswalk from Barcroft View Terrace requires pedestrians to cross four lanes of traffic, plus one turn lane, with no light. There is a thin concrete median with a diamond pedestrian crossing sign.
“We are asking for motorists to please maintain that speed limit or even a little bit slower,” he said. “But please be vigilant, please look around, especially when going through crosswalks. Pedestrians do have a right of way in that crosswalk. We are still looking at this intersection. We will have traffic enforcement out here to try to eliminate crashes and potential fatalities at this location.”
The FCPD didn’t identify the student’s school, as efforts to coordinate with Fairfax County Public Schools to inform and provide support for the victim’s family and friends are still underway.
“Any loss of a staff member, student, or their loved one, deeply impacts our entire FCPS family,” an FCPS spokesperson said in a statement to FFXnow. “We will always offer counseling and support to our community during these difficult times. Above all else, we respect the privacy of those who are grieving.”
Officers are on scene of a crash involving a pedestrian at Columbia Pike & Tyler Street. Preliminarily, a pedestrian was taken to the hospital w/injuries considered life-threatening. Driver remained on scene. Please use another route as detectives respond to investigate. pic.twitter.com/TmGXVlv4T1
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) November 16, 2022