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Fairfax County police car lights flashing (file photo)

A man allegedly fired gunshots outside Hutchinson Elementary School near Herndon before fleeing police and getting into a crash on the Dulles Toll Road.

Fairfax County police officers were called to the school for a report of shots being fired into the air around 4:09 p.m. today, according to Fairfax County Police Department Lt. Dan Spital.

When officers arrived at the school, they saw a group of men behind the school, one of whom ran through a wooded area — presumably the adjacent Hutchinson Park — and onto the Dulles Toll Road, police said.

“Once that man got onto the Dulles Toll Road, he was struck by a vehicle,” Spital said in a brief update around 6:30 p.m. “That vehicle remained on scene, and the patient was listed in critical condition. He was ground-transported to a local hospital, where he’s being treated for injuries that are still considered life-threatening.”

K9 officers found a firearm in the woods on the path where the foot chase took place, according to police.

FCPD Crash Reconstruction Unit detectives remain on the Dulles Toll Road, as the investigation continues.

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Fairfax County police car lights flashing (file photo)

(Updated at 10 a.m.) A teenager ended up in the hospital over the weekend after another teen accidentally shot him with a pellet gun.

Fairfax County police officers were dispatched a home in the 6300 block of Georgetown Pike in McLean at 12:51 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 8) in response to the reported shooting, the Fairfax County Police Department said.

According to the police scanner, officers received a 911 call for someone being shot with “lots of screaming in the background.” Responders reported that a 13-year-old boy had sustained a gunshot wound to the head from a BB gun, and they were transporting him to Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Police confirmed only that the victim was shot with a pellet gun in the upper body, and that both juveniles involved were teens.

The victim was transported to the hospital with injuries that were considered life-threatening, police said. As of last night (Monday), they remained hospitalized.

“It was a tragic accident that led to these injuries,” the FCPD said, noting that no charges are expected to be filed.

While this incident involved only a BB gun, nearly 350 children under the age of 18 unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else in the U.S. each year, according to Fairfax County Public Schools, citing findings from the gun violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety.

According to Everytown’s Not an Accident database, there have been at least 223 unintentional shootings by children in the U.S. so far this year, killing 98 people and injuring 136.

On the south side of the county, police responded to reports of gunshots in the Rose Hill Shopping Center parking lot at 4:05 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 7).

“Witnesses heard gunshots and saw a group of juveniles run from the area,” the FCPD told FFXnow by email. “Several cartridge cases were recovered. No injuries or property damage was reported.”

The incident remains under investigation. The department says anyone with information related to the gunfire can call its detectives at 703-691-2131.

H/t to Alan Henney.

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Joined by Arlington County Police Chief Charles Penn, Fairfax County Police Chief discusses a chase with shots fired that ended in West Falls Church (via FCPD/Facebook)

A 27-year-old man was arrested in West Falls Church last night after fleeing from and shooting at police officers and troopers in both Fairfax and Arlington counties.

Identified as Ricardo Singleton, the man fired “several rounds” at Fairfax and Arlington officers and Virginia State Police troopers who converged on the Bestway Supermarket shopping center at the intersection of Arlington Blvd and Graham Road, Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said at a joint media briefing.

The center was still busy when the shooting occurred around 8:30 p.m., but no injuries were reported to police, bystanders, or the suspect, according to Davis. One officer with the Fairfax County Police Department fired their gun.

“There’s restaurants here, there’s gas stations here. We’re early enough in the night that there’s pedestrians. There’s folks walking around,” Davis said. “It’s an absolute miracle that no one was struck and injured or killed, and we’re very, very grateful for that.”

Arlington law enforcement first encountered Singleton around 9 a.m. yesterday when he motioned over Arlington sheriff’s deputies to his vehicle, which was parked in front of the Arlington County Courthouse, FFXnow’s sister site ARLnow reported.

“When the deputies came over to the vehicle, they noticed that the person had a firearm in his possession, and shortly after that the gentleman drove off,” Arlington County Police Chief Penn said.

The deputies came across the vehicle again in a nearby garage. The driver “mentioned something about needing help,” but after the deputies approached and saw the firearm, the man again drove off, this time crashing into a parked vehicle, police say.

According to Penn, ACPD identified Singleton as the suspect and obtained warrants for eluding, brandishing, and hit-and-run. Read More

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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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Fairfax County police clear Tysons Corner Center after a gunfire incident on June 18 (staff photo by James Cullum)

The man who allegedly fired a gun inside Tysons Corner Center this summer, sparking a chaotic evacuation of the mall, is expected to face trial after getting indicted by a Fairfax County grand jury yesterday (Monday).

The circuit court jury indicted Noah Settles, a 22-year-old D.C. resident also known as rapper No Savage, on seven charges that could result in up to 45 years of imprisonment if he’s convicted, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano told FFXnow.

“This really traumatized folks who were in the mall that day and really left a scar on the people in Fairfax County at large,” Descano said of the June 18 incident. “I want people to know that you cannot come into Fairfax County, wave a gun around and shoot off in a crowded building and not expect to be held accountable and to be held accountable severely, and that’s what we’re looking to do here.”

Settles turned himself in on June 22 after the Fairfax County Police Department identified him as the suspect in the shooting, alleging that he had fired three gunshots on a mall concourse after getting into an argument with a rival “crew” based in southeast D.C.

No one was hit by the gunfire, but three people were injured while fleeing, police said. About six weeks later, Tysons Corner Center was evacuated again after the sound of a shattered light fixture prompted panic and unfounded rumors of an active shooter.

Settles was initially charged with attempted malicious wounding, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and three counts of discharging a weapon into an occupied building.

According to Descano, the grand jury’s indictment included two additional charges for brandishing a firearm and possession of a concealed firearm that prosecutors introduced after a preliminary hearing in Fairfax County General District Court on Aug. 15.

At the hearing, a lawyer for Settles argued that he had acted in self-defense, though a judge found probable cause to send the case to a grand jury, WUSA9 reported. Settles’ defense attorney, Peter Greenspun, didn’t return a request for comment by press time.

Descano says the new charges will enable prosecutors “to fully tell the story of what allegedly happened that day, particularly before the first rounds were fired off.”

“Those two additional charges are vital to producing accountability, which is really what our end goal here is,” he said.

Descano says his office is committed to prosecuting existing gun laws, but he has also argued that more federal and state legislation is needed to address the issue of gun violence, including a closure of loopholes that allow untraceable “ghost guns.”

Just this past weekend, the FCPD responded to two shootings, one in Annandale and another in Woodlawn that ended in the victim’s death.

“Action is needed because we can’t live with this as the new normal,” Descano said. “…When you have guns flooding the streets, what starts as a personal beef can very quickly escalate into shooting, violence, and death.”

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The northbound I-495 exit ramp to Little River Turnpike (via Google Maps)

A driver heading from the Capital Beltway onto Little River Turnpike in Annandale shot at another vehicle early this morning (Thursday), Virginia State Police say.

Police are investigating the incident after receiving a call around 4:50 a.m. from an individual who said they had been shot at after pulling off on the I-495 exit ramp:

At approximately 4:50 a.m.,  Virginia State Police were notified by an individual calling in to say that his vehicle was shot at as he and another vehicle were traveling north on I-495 approaching Exit 52B in Fairfax County. Both vehicles pulled off onto the Exit 52B ramp, at which time the shooting suspect exited his vehicle and fired multiple shots at the victim. The shooting suspect then got back into his vehicle and drove away.

The victim didn’t report any injuries resulting from the encounter, police said.

According to VSP, troopers “immediately” responded to the area, and a criminal investigation by the agency’s Fairfax Field Office is now underway.

Police say anyone with information can contact them by dialing #77 on a cell phone, calling 703-803-0026, or emailing questions@vsp.virginia.gov.

Photo via Google Maps

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Nordstrom storefront at Tysons Corner Center (via Google Maps)

Updated at 4:20 p.m. — Tysons Corner Center is open after police confirmed that reports of gunshots in the mall were spurred by a light fixture falling. 

Earlier: Tysons Corner Center was evacuated this afternoon (Sunday) after gunshots were reportedly heard inside the mall, prompting some to shelter in stores and a police response.

However, a spokesperson for the mall tells FFXnow that there were zero gunshots, attributing the noise that caused people to panic to a light fixture shattering.

“Tysons Corner Center experienced an operational matter regarding a light fixture near the Nordstrom wing corridor,” spokesperson Maurisa Potts said. “There was no active shooter on the property.”

The Fairfax County Police Department said in a tweet at 3:18 p.m. that it was on the scene had not found anything “at this point.”

“Please avoid the area while officers continue to clear the mall,” the FCPD said.

Word of an active shooter has proliferated on Twitter over the past hour, but the fears appear to be unfounded this time.

Shots fired in the mall on June 18 prompted widespread panic that injured three people. D.C. resident Noah Settles was charged in that incident, which police said stemmed from conflict between two “crews” based in D.C.

Photo via Google Maps

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Fairfax County police car lights (file photo)

(Updated at 4 p.m.) A man was taken into custody around midnight after a roughly seven-hour-long police barricade at a Lake Barcroft condominium building.

The Fairfax County Police Department tweeted at 5:17 p.m. yesterday (Tuesday) that its officers were on the scene in the 3300 block of Rio Drive in response to a brandishing incident, where a man with a rifle was seen on a fifth-level apartment balcony “shouting threats.”

“The man was shouting threats to shoot and kill people walking outside the apartment balcony,” the FCPD said in a summary today (Wednesday). “Officers began clearing the surrounding area and attempted to negotiate with the man to exit the apartment. The man disregarded officers’ commands and remained inside the apartment by himself.”

Residents of the Barcroft Hills (3245 Rio Drive) and Lafayette Park condos (6147 Leesburg Pike) were directed to shelter in place, while police negotiated with the man, who had moved inside the apartment. Police said they believed he was alone.

The fourth, fifth, and sixth floors of Barcroft Hills were evacuated, Annandale Today reported last night, quoting a resident who said they had been unable to return home for hours due to the lockdown.

According to the FCPD, crisis negotiators and officers from its Special Operations Division spent more then four hours trying to communicate with the man, but the negotiation attempts ultimately failed, leading SOD officers to deploy “projectiles containing pepper spray.”

The FCPD says the man was taken into custody after he exited the apartment at 11:55 p.m., at which point residents were allowed to back into their buildings.

“The man was taken to a nearby hospital for further mental health evaluation,” the department said. “He was also treated for injuries that were not considered life threatening.”

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Town of Herndon police (courtesy Herndon Police Department)

A man was injured during a carjacking and shooting in Herndon over the weekend, the Herndon Police Department said in its weekly recap.

The man said that someone he knew assaulted him, fired a gun at him and stole his car in the 500 block of Fairfax Lane on July 23 around 9 p.m.

The victim was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The car was later found, according to the HPD. No information about an arrest was immediately available. 

Police said the case is under investigation. They were alerted to the scene after multiple callers reported hearing a gunshot in the area. 

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Morning Notes

A plane at Dulles International Airport, visible from Chantilly (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Man Arrested for Fairfax Church Thefts — “On June 28, our officers responded to the Saint Mary’s of Sorrows Catholic Church in Fairfax for a man who stole a purse from a car in the parking lot. The man used stolen credit cards from the purse at several stores nearby. On July 4, the same suspect returned to the church and stole from two donation boxes. At least one stolen check was cashed from donation box.” [FCPD]

Covid Cases Close Reston Pools — “RA is currently experiencing a lifeguard shortage due an uptick in Aquatics staff testing positive for Covid-19. As a result, the Ridge Heights and Upland pools will be closed for the next five days (Friday through Tuesday).” [Reston Association/Twitter]

Silver Line Delays Not Justified, McKay Says — Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay says any further delays of Metro’s Silver Line Phase 2 project “will be met with a lot of discontent.” He’s hopeful the rail extension will open this fall but wants to be certain that a $250 million budget increase approved earlier this week will be the last needed payment. [WTOP]

Vienna Lodge Seeks Funds for Repairs — “Vienna Moose Lodge, a fraternal organization that does community service work, launched a Save the Lodge fundraising campaign this week to help remain open and continue its mission…One of the major repairs needed is a new HVAC system in the banquet hall that will cost $35,000.” [Patch]

Ribbon Cut on Reston Affordable Senior Housing — “It was warm this morning but still a great turnout for the ribbon cutting for Hunters Woods Fellowship House! Much needed $26 million renovations provide modern & safer home for many older residents.” [Walter Alcorn/Twitter]

Herndon Company Expands HQ — The defense and intelligence contractor Expedition Technology has signed a lease amendment for its corporate headquarters offices “that will support its current and anticipated growth.” Lasting through June 2033, the new agreement doubles its office space from approximately 32,000 to more than 64,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 170 workers. [CityBiz]

GMU Joins Gun Violence Research Effort — “Fifteen members of a consortium of local schools will pool their resources, researchers and faculty experts in areas including maternal and child health, public policy, mental health, criminology and technology, officials said. The goal is to provide lawmakers and the public with steps they can take to drive down gun violence.” [The Washington Post]

Good Pups Visit McLean Nursing Home — “Fairfax County senior residents are getting some furry visitors at their nursing homes thanks to a group of volunteers at Pets on Wheels…The non-profit is run by volunteers that say pets can be therapeutic for senior citizens.” [ABC7]

Cool Off With Dolley Madison Library — “#Fairfax teens can beat the heat Saturday at our Dolley Madison branch. We will meet at the library before heading to McLean Central Park for a sponge war! Sponges provided. Wear clothes that can get wet (minimum shorts & shirts required).” [Fairfax County Public Library/Twitter]

Cirque du Soleil Makes Tysons Return Next Week — “Cirque du Soleil has become the gold standard of 21st century circus productions…The global brand brings ‘KURIOS: Cabinet of Curiosities’ to the Under the Big Top tent at Lerner Town Square in Tysons, Virginia from July 29 to Aug. 27.” [WTOP]

It’s Friday — Clear throughout the day. High of 90 and low of 75. Sunrise at 6:03 am and sunset at 8:30 pm. [Weather.gov]

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