Email signup
Fairfax County police vehicle with lights (file photo)

A Lorton man has been arrested and charged with murder following a domestic-related fatal shooting on Wednesday night.

Police were called to Mount Vernon Hospital at 2501 Parker Lane in Hybla Valley following an incident where Huy Tien Nguyen, 47, admitted his girlfriend, Alison “Kate” LaPorta, 38, who had sustained a gunshot wound to her upper body, according to a Fairfax County Police Department press release.

Nguyen initially told officers the shooting occurred in a parking lot. However, detectives says they later determined Nguyen allegedly shot LaPorta inside the vehicle he used to then drive LaPorta to the hospital. Detectives recovered the firearm near Nguyen’s Lorton home.

Nguyen was charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony. He was taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where he is being held without bond.

Charlie, a longtime horse at Frying Pan Farm Park, died from a stomach infection last week (via Fairfax County Park Authority)

The animal family at Frying Pan Farm Park is one member smaller this week following the death of a Belgian draft horse.

Charlie died in his sleep on Feb. 15 at the age of 20, the Fairfax County Park Authority announced last Friday (Feb. 16).

The horse was sick on Feb. 12. He was given antibiotics to fight an infection in his abdomen but did not survive.

“Those who would like to pay their respects and honor Charlie are welcome to drop off letters or items to his stall at the Kidwell Barn at Frying Park Farm Park. We will miss you sweet Charlie,” FCPA wrote in a Facebook post.

Now, only one draft horse remains at the farm, which is also home to chickens, peacocks, rabbits, sheep, goats, cows and pigs.

“While we do not have any specific details to share regarding the addition of another draft horse, this will continue to be a topic of discussion as part of the ongoing process of providing animals for the farm,” Ben Boxer, a spokesperson for FCPA, said.

Located at 2709 West Ox Road, Frying Pan Farm Park serves as a throwback to Fairfax County’s more rural days, aiming to preserve and interpret farm life of the 1920s to 1950s. One of the county’s most popular parks, it features trails, a playground and carousel, a country store and the Old Floris Schoolhouse that still hosts a farm-oriented preschool and day camp.

Fairfax County firefighters responded to a house fire in Mount Vernon on Saturday, Jan. 20 (courtesy FCFRD)

(Updated at 5:15 p.m.) Two people died in separate house fires over the weekend, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says.

The first fire occurred in the 3800 block of Kings Hill Court in Mount Vernon around 5:58 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 20).

Summoned by a neighbor who saw a fire from the back of a two-story single-family house, firefighters arrived to see the blaze making its way from the first floor up to the second floor, according to an FCFRD press release.

After “quickly” extinguishing the fire, firefighters found a man described as elderly inside the house. He was taken with life-threatening injuries to a hospital, where he later died, the department said.

“The cause of death is pending an autopsy and toxicology report from the medical examiner,” the department said in a news release today (Monday). “There were no firefighter injuries.”

Investigators determined that the house had smoke alarms, but it’s unclear if they were triggered by the fire, which started in the living room.

The exact cause of the fire hasn’t yet been determined, according to the fire department. Some residents of the house who weren’t home at the time of the fire have been displaced.

The FCFRD estimates that the fire resulted in approximately $475,500 in property damages.

Later that evening, the fire department responded at approximately 11:23 p.m. to another fire at a two-story, single-family house, this time in the 8200 block of Mockingbird Drive in Annandale’s Wakefield neighborhood.

According to the FCFRD, arriving crews saw “heavy fire” visible from the house’s roof. A woman was found inside and taken to a hospital, where she later died from her injuries.

As in the Mount Vernon fire, no firefighter injuries were reported, and the woman’s cause of death will be officially determined by an autopsy and toxicology report from the medical examiner.

“The fire was called in by a neighbor who reported seeing flames from the roof of the home,” the FCFRD said. “The origin of the fire was within the attic space of the structure. The cause has been attributed to a fault within the electrical lighting branch circuit related to the second-floor bathroom.”

The Wakefield fire produced approximately $639,913 in damages, the fire department reported.

These are the first fatal fire incidents of 2024, but on Dec. 11, a man was found dead in a McLean house where a two-alarm fire broke out.

Fairfax County NAACP President Michelle Leete has died (courtesy Fairfax County NAACP)

The current president and a long-serving member of the Fairfax County NAACP has died, the civil rights advocacy organization announced today (Monday).

The exact circumstances of Michelle Leete’s death weren’t addressed, but the organization described her passing as “sudden.”

“The esteemed president and unwavering advocate for civil rights departed this world, leaving a void in the hearts of those she served alongside and a legacy of tireless dedication to justice, equality, and community empowerment,” the Fairfax County NAACP said.

Leete had served on the group’s executive committee since 2013, holding the positions of treasurer and vice president before getting elected as president for the 2023-2024 term.

She became a target of conservative outrage in 2021 after giving a speech at a rally in support of Fairfax County Public Schools providing protections for transgender students. The incident led to her resigning as vice president of training for the Virginia PTA.

Leete’s tenure as president of the local NAACP branch included a focus on police reform, as the organization provided support to the family of Timothy Johnson, who was fatally shot by Fairfax County police last February at Tysons Corner Center.

Former Fairfax County NAACP presidents shared condolences after the group announced Leete’s death.

“Michelle was the embodiment of a selfless leader,” her predecessor, Sean Perryman, said. “She approached community service with a quiet confidence and no ego. She was a steady and calming presence. Her maturity and capability radiated in everything she did. With her death, the Northern Virginia community loses someone that dedicated years to its betterment.”

Kofi Annan, who served as president from 2016 to 2019, noted that Leete had been the organization’s longest-serving board member.

“She was a great mentor and friend to me over the years. RIP my friend,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

The Fairfax County NAACP’s full announcement is below:

With profound shock and sadness, the Fairfax County NAACP branch announces the sudden passing of their president, Michelle Leete. The esteemed president and unwavering advocate for civil rights departed this world, leaving a void in the hearts of those she served alongside and a legacy of tireless dedication to justice, equality, and community empowerment.

The Fairfax County NAACP branch family is grieving this significant loss and extends their deepest condolences to President Leete’s family, loved ones, colleagues, and the entire community she served so passionately. An active NAACP Fairfax County branch member and a member of its Executive Committee since 2013, President Leete served in many capacities, including Treasurer and Vice President, before being elected President for the 2023-2024 term.

Details regarding memorial arrangements and community gatherings to honor President Leete’s memory will be forthcoming. The Fairfax County NAACP branch is working diligently to ensure that the events reflect her profound impact on the community.

Further information and updates will be communicated through official channels and posted on Fairfax County NAACP’s social media platforms. The Branch appreciates the outpouring of support during this challenging time and requests privacy for President Leete’s family as they navigate this loss.

President Michelle Leete may be gone, but her indomitable spirit will forever remain in the hearts of those she inspired and served.

Peter McCandless, 87, helped promote Reston when it was founded in 1964 (courtesy of the McCandless family)

Peter McCandless was living a full life of music, travel and work that he enjoyed when he was killed in a vehicle crash on Reston Parkway late last year.

Police reported that McCandless, 87, died on Dec. 26, 2023 after an SUV driver hit him while he was walking at the Market Street intersection. A preliminary investigation indicated that he was crossing from Reston Town Center to Stratford House, where he lived, according to his son, Kris McCandless.

“We’re hoping that it was quick, not a lot of pain,” Kris said, adding that he doesn’t blame the driver given the limited visibility when the crash occurred around 7 a.m. “…That was rough conditions. It was a true accident.”

The circumstances of the crash remain under investigation, according to the Fairfax County Police Department, which says anyone with information can contact its Crash Reconstruction Unit at 703-280-0543.

Described by his son as a “true people-person,” Peter Lee McCandless grew up in the Midwest but spent much of his life in Reston, where he kicked off a career in public relations in 1964 as an early employee of Reston founder Robert E. Simon’s Palindrome Corporation.

When McCandless moved to Herndon that year with his wife, Nan Muehl, and Kris, his only child, Simon’s vision of Reston as a planned, inclusive community developed around a central plaza was just starting to take shape.

As Palindrome’s 20th employee, McCandless was tasked with promoting the new town of Reston, and he continued that work throughout his career, which included the founding of his own Reston-based PR agency, The McCandless Company, in 1984.

His legacy in Reston also includes helping start the Reston Chorale in 1967.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1936 to Lee and Mary McCandless, McCandless graduated from Principia College in 1958. He then joined the U.S. Army and taught English in Turkey for three years before enrolling in Yale University’s School of Drama for a year.

He met and fell in love with Muehl after returning to St. Louis in 1962. The following year, they got married, and Muehl gave birth to Kris.

After Muehl died from cancer in 2010, McCandless met Susan Ehart, the woman who would become his second wife, in 2014. That October, he moved into Stratford House in Reston after living in Lovettsville for the preceding 16 years.

Eager to start a new chapter in his life, he frequently traveled on ocean cruises with Ehart, visiting Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia, South America and Australia. The couple contemplated opening their own Great Harvest Bread franchise, but McCandless ultimately opted to work at the company’s existing store in Herndon instead.

According to his son, McCandless loved working at Great Harvest Bread, where he held nearly every position and was warmly embraced by regular customers. He was an employee at the bakery until his death.

After returning to Reston, McCandless also sang with the Reston Chorale and at the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Reston. His other passions included traveling and being outdoors, art and photography.

McCandless is survived by Ehart, Kris and his stepdaughter, Sarah. A Celebration of Life will be held for him this Saturday, Jan. 13, from 10 a.m. to noon at Reston Community Center — Lake Anne (1609-A Washington Plaza).

A man engages in a standoff with police on the roof of a Culmore apartment building (via FCPD/Twitter)

A man who kicked off this week with a 21-hour standoff with police in Bailey’s Crossroads is facing assault and abduction charges.

Additional charges are possible against Brian Ramos, 21, for his killing of a cat during the barricade, which began shortly before 4 p.m. on Sunday (Dec. 10) and concluded after 1 p.m. yesterday (Monday), the Fairfax County Police Department said.

As previously reported, police were called to the 6000 block of Bellview Drive in Culmore’s Olde Salem Village apartment complex at 3:52 p.m. for a report of a person being assaulted with a baseball bat.

“Two victims were abducted by a roommate [and] then one victim was assaulted with a baseball bat,” the FCPD said in a news release. “The victims were able to escape the apartment and call the police.”

When officers arrived, Ramos had barricaded himself alone in the apartment with his cat and a knife, which he threatened to use, according to police.

The situation remained unchanged until around 12:20 a.m., when officers saw Ramos start a fire inside the apartment, the FCPD said. He then “fatally harmed the cat and proceeded to exit his apartment and climb to the roof.”

It’s unclear exactly how the standoff was resolved, but the FCPD says Ramos eventually climbed off the roof using a ladder provided by the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Police announced at 1:11 p.m. yesterday that he had been taken into custody.

The person who got assaulted with a baseball bat — identified by police as a roommate of Ramos — was treated for minor injuries.

After getting taken to a hospital for evaluation, Ramos was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, where he remains without bond.

Ramos has been charged with two counts each of assault and abduction. In addition to the possible charges for the cat’s death, the FCPD says a potential arson charge is pending.

“Officers from our Crisis Negotiation Team & our Special [Operations] Division worked throughout a very cold two days to safely take this man into custody,” FCPD communications director Katherine Hayek said in a tweet. “Some incredible work, taking advantage of time & space, and great tactics, brought this scary situation to a peaceful end.”

Photo via FCPD/Twitter

Shreve Road approaching the Pioneer Lane intersection in Idylwood (via Google Maps)

One of the passengers in last week’s SUV crash off of Shreve Road in Idylwood has died, Fairfax County police announced today (Monday).

Six people — all of them between 14 and 17 years old — were hospitalized with injuries seen as life-threatening after their 2003 Lincoln Aviator careened over a hill and crashed into a tree at the Pioneer Lane intersection on Nov. 20, according to police.

A preliminary investigation indicated that the impact sent the vehicle into a tailspin, ejecting five of its seven occupants, who police said were not wearing seatbelts.

Four passengers remain in the hospital, while one has been released, the Fairfax County Police Department said in today’s update.

“Detectives from our Crash Reconstruction Unit are continuing to investigate and working closely with the Office of the Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney to determine when charges will be placed,” the FCPD said.

Police have said they believe alcohol and excessive speed were factors in the crash, initially moving to charge the 17-year-old driver with driving under the influence. However, after consulting with prosecutors, the FCPD decided to wait to file charges.

On the day of the crash, a spokesperson for the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office declined to comment, since “it is an active and pending matter.”

Because they’re all juveniles, the crash victims haven’t been identified by police. According to the FCPD, the teen who died is the 17th person to be killed this year in a crash on Fairfax County roads that didn’t involve a pedestrian, nearly equaling the 19 such fatalities reported in 2022.

The 16th fatality for 2023 occurred yesterday (Sunday) in a single-vehicle crash near Cox Farms in Centreville.

From the FCPD press release:

At 4 a.m. yesterday, officers responded to a single-vehicle crash in the 15600 block of Braddock Road in Centreville. Officers and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue personnel found the 2017 Jaguar XF fully engulfed in flames and quickly worked to extinguish the flames. The driver and lone occupant, Emmanuel Alexander, 28, of Aldie was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Detectives are continuing to investigate to determine if speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

Image via Google Maps

The Fairfax County Adult Detention Center (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Another person in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center has died.

Latasha Dove, a 53-year-old woman, was found unresponsive in her cell at the jail on Tuesday (Aug. 1) afternoon, the Fairfax County Police Department reported yesterday (Wednesday).

According to the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office, the post deputy called in a medical emergency at 2:27 p.m. Scanner traffic on Open MHz indicates that an Emergency Medical Services team from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department was dispatched for a cardiac arrest around 2:31 p.m.

“The deputy immediately rendered aid until relieved by ADC medical personnel. Rescue arrived and transported the inmate to the hospital,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

Dove was declared dead at the hospital at 3:13 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office.

Dove’s death is now being investigated by the FCPD, as required by county policy.

According to the police and court records, Dove was arrested on July 26 and faced charges of simple assault and property destruction. The assault charge was a misdemeanor, while the destruction of property charge was a class 6 felony, meaning the value of the destroyed property was over $1,000.

Dove remained in custody at the jail after Fairfax County General District Court Judge Mark Simmons set a cash bond for her at a bond hearing on Monday (July 31).

“The judge decided that she was an appropriate candidate for bail yet set a cash bond knowing that she was indigent,” said Fairfax County Public Defender Dawn Butorac, whose office represented Dove. “That means that Judge Simmons found that she was neither a danger to the community nor a risk of flight. It was simply Ms. Dove’s poverty that kept her in jail instead of being in the community. This is a clear demonstration of the perversity of a cash bail system.”

Though Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano has had a policy against seeking cash bail since March 2020, prosecutors objected to the possibility that Dove could be released at the bond hearing, Butorac told FFXnow.

The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney didn’t immediately return a request for comment. The office recommends defendants be released in 59% of non-violent felony cases, as of March, according to a bond data dashboard launched last fall.

According to the FCPD, foul play isn’t suspected in Dove’s death, but the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine an official cause.

Listed in court records as a Los Angeles, California, resident, Dove is the second person to die while in custody at the Adult Detention Center this summer, following 51-year-old Todd Matthew Gleason’s death on July 4. The jail had three in-custody deaths in 2022.

Before the police department announced its investigation, the sheriff’s office published a news release yesterday about a deputy and nurse’s successful efforts to save an inmate who had overdosed on opioids on July 29.

Police say Brandon Wims was shot multiple times while in a car at the Old Mill Gardens apartments in Mount Vernon (via Google Maps)

A Mount Vernon man will be tried for murder after allegedly shooting and killing Brandon Wims outside the Old Mill Gardens apartments in October.

A grand jury indicted 43-year-old Kyjuan Trott-McLean today (Monday) for murder and three weapons charges, according to Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano.

“The death of Brandon Wims is a tragedy,” Descano said in a statement. “I want to thank our Fairfax County Police for their dedication to this case and the policework that led to the arrest of the defendant.”

Trott-McLean was arrested on Dec. 1, 2022, almost two months after Fairfax County police identified him as their suspect in Wims’s fatal shooting.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, Wims was shot multiple times around 7 a.m. on Oct. 2, 2022 while sitting in a car with two other people in the 5800 block of St Gregorys Lane.

The driver took Wims to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he died, while the vehicle’s two other occupants were treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said at the time.

The FCPD said a preliminary investigation suggested that Trott-McLean had approached the car on foot and fired into the vehicle after an “altercation.” He left the scene in a silver Nissan Maxima.

Police advertised a $11,000 reward for Trott-McLean before he was arrested in the 3800 block of Colonial Avenue near Woodley Hills Elementary School following a brief vehicle pursuit.

In addition to the murder charge, Trott-McLean has been charged with using a firearm in commission of a felony, possessing a firearm as a felon, and concealing a firearm as a felon.

A court date for the case will be set on Thursday (July 20), according to Descano’s office.

Photo via Google Maps

Inside the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

A man who was hospitalized while in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center has died, triggering a police investigation.

Todd Matthew Gleason, 51, died Tuesday morning (July 4) just hours after a magistrate approved his release, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. He was taken to a hospital from the jail on Monday after telling sheriff’s deputies that he had “pain to his stomach and leg,” police said.

Gleason sustained injuries after being hit by a car, an incident that occurred before his arrest, according to the Fairfax County Office of the Public Defender, which was representing him.

Gleason was arrested on June 17 for a petit larceny that allegedly occurred on June 15, according to Fairfax County General District Court records. Mount Vernon District patrol officers also served him a warrant for failure to appear on a felony offense, the FCPD said Wednesday.

“There was no force used during Gleason’s arrest,” the department said. “Following his arrest, Gleason requested to be taken to the hospital for a preexisting injury. Officers facilitated his request, and he was medically cleared by hospital staff the same day.”

However, Gleason was still experiencing medical issues from his injuries while in custody at the Adult Detention Center, the public defender’s office says.

“Mr. Gleason continued to have medical issues from those injuries during his incarceration,” Fairfax Public Defender Dawn Butorac said by email. “He advised his attorneys of such and it is my understanding that he also advised the jail staff as well. It appears that his complaints were not taken seriously until July 3rd.”

That morning, the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office requested an ambulance to take Gleason back to the hospital, according to the police.

Police say a magistrate granted Gleason a release on recognizance at 9:22 pm on Monday, July 3, a date confirmed to FFXnow by a General District Court clerk.

“Any medical complaints are taken seriously and fully addressed by our medical team,” Casey Lingan, general counsel for the sheriff’s office, said.

Noting that the county jail “is nationally accredited by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care,” Lingan said the office can’t provide any information about medical care given to individuals in the facility, citing confidentiality laws under HIPAA and the Code of Federal Regulations.

An autopsy to determine the manner and cause of Gleason’s death is being conducted by Northern Virginia’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The final results could take 12 or more weeks, depending on the complexity of the case, according to the office.

Fairfax County court records show a string of previous charges against Gleason, dating back to Oct. 24, 2020. It’s unclear whether any of them resulted in convictions.

The charges are mostly misdemeanors, including multiple petit larcenies, trespassing, public intoxication and failures to appear in court. There are two felony drug possession charges, most recently for an April 8 offense, and one felony for wearing a mask.

Gleason had been scheduled for an adjudicatory hearing on Sept. 14.

The Fairfax County Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney said it had no comment on the case at this time, but called Gleason’s death “a tragedy.”

No other deaths have been reported at the county jail this year, but three people died while incarcerated last year.

That includes 65-year-old George Redmond and 55-year-old Kyung Pil Chang, who died within two days of each other in late March 2022. Glenn Meyer, who was charged in a Pimmit Hills shooting in 2020, died last July after a medical emergency, police said at the time.


Subscribe to our mailing list