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Fairfax County police car lights (file photo)

Fairfax County police have released audio from the dispatch call where officers were filmed pointing guns at someone.

The video went viral on social media, showing two officers pointing their firearms at a person filming them detaining someone else.

Police said they were responding to an incident at a Falls Church IHOP where they believed a weapon was involved. Three to four juveniles had threatened a hostess earlier in the day, with one displaying a weapon in his waistband, before they returned at 11 p.m. to try and get the employee to go to the parking lot, police said.

“Possible weapon in progress,” the dispatcher said. “Caller is stating that there are about 10 males outside in reference to a weapon that was flashed earlier about three hours ago, has not seen one tonight, nothing was discharged, concealed. Caller is now saying that they are surrounding the windows from outside of the building, still attempting to get further.”

“Should we ask to see if the guy with the gun is back there,” one person on the audio asks. “Units in route to the weapons complaint, according to the caller, the subjects are currently at the emergency exit and sees the subject from earlier holding a gun, unknown if it’s pointing at them directly.”

As officers detained some of the people they believed were involved, a person approached them with something in his hands, police previously said in a statement.

“Due to the nature of the call and not locating a weapon, officers ordered the subject to the ground at gunpoint,” the Fairfax County Police Department said.

After they shared a description of the teen, someone is heard saying an individual is behind the officers on the sidewalk, saying, “Stop him. Just put him in cuffs.”

The video shows two officers drew their guns, pointed them at a person who was filming them and told him to get on the ground.

County leaders released statements saying the incident will be examined after the video circulated on social media. The police department also said it would be reviewed, like all incidents where officers point their weapons.

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A Fairfax County police car with lights flashing (file photo)

(Updated at 3:15 p.m.) A video has been circulating on social media showing two Fairfax County police officers pointing guns at a person who was recording as they appeared to arrest someone.

Police said they were responding to an incident at a Falls Church IHOP where they believed a weapon was involved.

In the video, county police department vehicles are shown with their lights on. As officers appear to arrest someone, one officer looks toward the camera and says “stop him.” Another officer approaches the person recording, points a gun at them and tells them to stay where they’re at. The person recording asks “Why you pointing the gun on me?”

When the officer responds, “Because you have a weapon,” the person asks what weapon.

She asks for him to get on his knees before another officer approaches with a gun drawn and shouts “Get on the ground.”

Note: The following video contains strong language and is not safe for work.

The Fairfax County Police Department said that three to four juveniles entered the IHOP at 6655 Arlington Blvd., around 7 p.m. Saturday (July 9) when one threatened the hostess while another lifted his shirt, revealing what appeared to be a handgun in his waistband.

The juveniles left but returned later, around 11 p.m., and tried to get the employee to go outside to the parking lot, police said.

“When officers arrived, the juveniles ran to a nearby parking lot, where officers detained two subjects and did not find a weapon,” the FCPD told FFXnow. “While detaining them, a third subject, who the officers believed to be involved, approached with something in his hands. Due to the nature of the call and not locating a weapon, officers ordered the subject to the ground at gunpoint.”

The department said the officers determined the person was holding a cell phone and filming.

The three were detained by police and later released to their parents, police said.

“The investigation has been assigned to a detective in our Criminal Investigation Division,” police said. “As with all pointing of a firearm events, the incident is under review.”

The department said a weapon was not recovered.

County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said in response to a tweet of the video that the findings of an investigation into the incident will be shared with the community.

“The pointing of a firearm prompts an internal review that will be monitored by the Independent Police Auditor who reports directly to the Board,” he wrote on Twitter. “Ensuring our officers are following departmental policies and the expectations of our community are of paramount importance.”

Independent Police Auditor Richard Schott confirmed to FFXnow that he will be monitoring and reviewing the police department’s internal investigation of the incident.

Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk commented to social media as well on the recent use of force incidents. These included two shootings where residents died after police shot them, one at Springfield Town Center two weeks ago and another at a McLean home last week.

“I share the concerns that I’ve heard from many in the community about both the nature of these incidents, as well as the frequency at which they are occurring,” Lusk wrote. “It’s important to acknowledge that the use of force by our police department — especially deadly force — with this level of frequency is not normal in our community. However, it is equally critical that we allow for a full investigation of the facts in each of these cases before determining if the force deployed was justified.”

Angela Woolsey and Brandi Bottalico contributed to this article.

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Morning Notes

Bella Mack of Vienna spins and jumps on roller blades at Wakefield Skate Park in Annandale (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Underground Utilities Proposed for Route 1 — Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck has joined many residents, businesses, and state Sen. Scott Surovell (D-36) as an advocate for moving power lines along Richmond Highway underground, though that isn’t in the current designs for widening the road. Advocates say undergrounding would limit storm damage and bring economic benefits. [On the MoVe]

Metro Plans for Budget Shortfall — “Metrorail has only recovered 42% of its ridership and Metrobus has recovered about 60%. This time, Metro officials are not banking on the cavalry — in the form of a federal bailout or additional local dollars — to arrive. Later this summer, board members and new Metro General Manager Randy Clarke will begin to calculate how to plug a $356 million operating budget gap.” [DCist]

Police Investigate Gunshot in Fair Oaks — “Fairfax County Police are investigating a shooting that occurred early Tuesday morning in the Fair Oaks area, according to the weekly crime report. Police responded around 3:18 a.m., for the report of a man firing a handgun into the air in the 12000 block of Thompson Road.” [Patch]

Bailey’s Crossroads Library Volunteer Honored — “Fairfax County officials gathered Saturday to honor Carmen Fernandez, a longtime pillar of the Culmore community. A conference room at the Woodrow Wilson Library in Falls Church now bears plaques in Fernandez’s honor.” [Fairfax County Public Library]

McLean Theater Group Retakes the Stage — “McLean Community Players is back after a three-year hiatus and will hit the Alden Theatre’s stage July 22 to 24 with ‘The Show Must Go On! A Musical Revue.’ The effort features an array of songs from past productions and shows the company hopes to perform in the future.” [Sun Gazette]

Local Hummingbird Photographers Get Focus — “I have been promised hummingbirds. I am, after all, at Green Spring Gardens, in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County, prime hummingbird territory…Jane [Gamble] takes me somewhere we’re guaranteed to find hummingbirds: inside the house, where 46 hummingbird photos hang on the walls.” [The Washington Post]

It’s Tuesday — Rain in the evening. High of 87 and low of 70. Sunrise at 5:55 am and sunset at 8:36 pm. [Weather.gov]

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A Vienna police SUV (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Tempers ran high on the roads of Vienna during the recent Fourth of July holiday weekend and last week.

A town resident told the Vienna Police Department that, around 6:35 p.m. on July 3, a driver showed a gun after he told the driver to slow down while they were both stopped for a red light at the Nutley Street and Courthouse Road intersection.

According to the Vienna police highlights for the week of July 1-7, the resident said he was going northbound on Nutley when he saw another vehicle “approaching from behind him at a high rate of speed.”

“The resident yelled at the other driver to slow down, and the driver brandished a firearm,” police said. “The driver placed the firearm in his lap and verbally threatened the resident before he made a left turn and continued westbound on Courthouse Road.”

The VPD says its officers were unable to find the driver who allegedly pulled out the gun.

Vienna police also responded to a tense encounter between a driver and pedestrian on July 1 near the intersection of George and Cottage streets.

According to the report, the pedestrian took issue with a woman driving an SUV who “began driving too close to him and his family” around 10:05 p.m.

He advised that after the driver ignored his requests to be more careful, he stopped in front of her vehicle to slow her down. The citizen stated the vehicle’s bumper made contact with his back, but he was not injured. Officers spoke to the driver, who advised that the complaining citizen was causing the issue, stopping in front of her vehicle and sitting down on her bumper, refusing to move.

Officers explained the warrant process to both individuals in case either of them decides to pursue charges in the incident, which has been classified as an assault by the police department.

In a non-vehicle-related case, a Cottage Street resident reported finding an unwelcome surprise on Independence Day outside her bedroom window.

“A resident reported that a person dressed as a ghost and wearing sunglasses was standing right outside her bedroom window for approximately 5 minutes,” the VPD said. “Once the resident saw the person, she ran out of her bedroom to alert her parents. The parents attempted to find the person but were unable to locate them.”

The peeping tom was reported in the 1200 block of Cottage Street SW at 12:02 a.m. on July 4.

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Morning Notes

People watch fireworks at Vienna’s 2022 Fourth of July celebration (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Springfield Motorcyclist Dies After Burke Crash — Becoming the sixth non-pedestrian killed in a vehicle crash this year, Nema Mirsaeedi, 31, of Springfield died yesterday after being thrown from his motorcycle in a crash with a car attempting to turn into a shopping center on Burke Center Parkway. The crash occurred at 6:39 p.m. on Sunday (July 3) and remains under investigation. [FCPD]

County Responds to Supreme Court Security Request — “Supreme Court Marshal Gail Curley originally penned the letter, asking that state and local law enforce their respective picketing laws near the homes of Supreme Court justices…Fairfax County officials say they already received the letter and that their stance remained unchanged.” [WTOP]

FCPS Officially Has New Superintendent — “Michelle Reid, Ed.D. was sworn in as the superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools on Thursday, June 30, at Luther Jackson Middle School. Her term begins Friday, July 1. ‘It’s important for me to remember that learning happens best in community, and this is an amazing community,’ said Dr. Reid.” [FCPS]

Hiker Injured Falling Off Great Falls Ledge — “On Saturday, at 2:31 p.m., units were dispatched to 9200 Old Dominion Drive for an injured hiker. Hiker fell 40 feet down a steep rocky ledge. Crews fully immobilized and carried person out via stokes basket to Fairfax County Police Department helicopter. Transported with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.” [FCFRD/Facebook]

Fairfax History Commission Seeks More Resources — “Commission Chairman Cheryl Repetti, who delivered the group’s annual report to the Board of Supervisors June 28, asked supervisors to finance a full-time staff member and allot extra county staff hours to help fulfill the board’s requests of the commission.” [Sun Gazette]

South Lakes HS Stadium Closed — “Hey Seahawks…Our stadium is CLOSED while we make some improvements to it. The turf is being replaced & the bleachers are getting a minor upgrade. Should take a month. Thanks for your patience.” [South Lakes Athletics & Activities/Twitter]

Longtime McLean Postal Workers Retire — “[Scott] Arnold and his best friend in the Postal Service, Rob Receveur, both had served McLean for years, and this past week, both were celebrated as they hung up their mailbags…It’s hard to quantify Arnold’s legacy, but you can sense his effect by how the neighborhood’s residents have shifted their lives to remain close to him.” [The Washington Post]

Firefighter Adopts Rescued Kitten — “May 28, Tower 424 and Tech Austin Adams rescued kitten out of a tree. Kitten was very young. @FairfaxCountyPD Animal Protection took him to @fairfaxanimals. Tech Adams kept in touch. Thursday, he and his wife adopted kitten — now named Ash!” [FCFRD/Twitter]

Virginia Shares Data on Firearm Injuries — “The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) launched a new data dashboard on firearm injuries in Virginia showing the number and rate of emergency department (ED) visits from 2016 to 2022. The dashboard shows firearm injury data by year, health district, age group, sex, and race/ethnicity across Virginia.” [VDH]

It’s Tuesday — Rain in the evening. High of 84 and low of 71. Sunrise at 5:51 am and sunset at 8:39 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

McLean Central Park gazebo (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Recent Gun Violence Leaves D.C. Area on Edge — “In the D.C. area in recent days, two shootings in crowded public spaces — at the festival on U Street and at a Fairfax County mall — reinforced that no one is immune from violence. As a result, some area residents have begun to pull back. People have started to think twice before going to concerts and the mall.” [The Washington Post]

Tysons Software Company Lays Off 54 Workers — “ID.me Inc. has laid off dozens of employees following a period of rapid growth and just months after the Internal Revenue Service halted use of ID.me’s facial recognition technology…The company had expanded rapidly during the pandemic to keep up with growing demand at the time” [Washington Business Journal]

Man Charged in Fairfax City Assault — “A Maryland man was charged in connection with an assault that took place Saturday afternoon on Main Street, Fairfax City police said in a news release. Ronaldo Thomas, 41, of Capital Heights, Maryland, was charged with one count each of strangulation and assault and battery in connection with the choking of a woman outside the Main Street Marketplace, police said.” [Patch]

Annandale Dollar Tree to Reopen — Construction appears to be underway to repair the entrance to the Dollar Tree in the Bradlick Shopping Center. The store has been closed since a car crashed through the glass doors in October, but signs posted on the new doors indicate the shop will reopen “soon” and is now hiring. [Annandale Today]

Still Crickets on Downtown Herndon Project — “It appears unlikely, virtually impossible, that Comstock could break ground on the Herndon Redevelopment Project before summer starts. A groundbreaking date was first anticipated in late 2019 with project completion possibly in 2021.” [The Connection]

Fairfax City Welcomes New Nail Salon — “Sure, it’s easy to find a nail salon in nearly every city. But one look inside Raizun Nail Spa in Fairfax City lets customers know this spacious and upscale business is different from the rest. ‘Their salon is absolutely gorgeous,’ said Danette Nguyen, the City’s assistant economic development director.” [The Connection]

Tropical Storm Ida Relief Still Available — “The Washington Metropolitan Area District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reminds eligible business owners in Fairfax…to apply for working capital loans before the July 18 deadline. This disaster loan program is available to small businesses…and most private nonprofit organizations that were affected by the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida that occurred from Aug. 31 through Sept 4, 2021.” [Fairfax County Emergency Information]

Benches Dedicated to Former County Leaders — “Former Board Chairman and Braddock District Supervisor Sharon Bulova and former Braddock District Supervisor John Cook had benches dedicated in their honor at the Braddock District Office, which is also home to the Kings Park Library.” [Patch]

It’s Thursday — Rain in the morning and afternoon. High of 75 and low of 63. Sunrise at 5:46 am and sunset at 8:39 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

The former Crate and Barrel building on International Drive in Tysons (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Truck Fire Shuts Down I-95 South — “Saturday around 4:30 p.m., units were dispatched for a Truck Fire on I-95 South at Mile Marker 161. Multiple Vehicles on fire being transported by 18-Wheeler Vehicle Carrier, located in local lanes. Multiple Lanes were shutdown in southbound lanes. No reported injuries.” [FCFRD/Twitter]

BB Gun Drawn in Reston Over Smoking Confrontation — A security guard was surrounded by 10 juveniles outside a business in the 11900 block of Market Street on May 31 after telling them that smoking was not allowed there. One of the juveniles displayed a handgun that police later determined was “a replica style Glock BB gun.” No injuries were reported, but police intend to seek petitions for charges. [FCPD]

Idylwood Section of W&OD Trail Opens — A new, realigned section of the Washington and Old Dominion Trail by Idylwood Park has opened. Work on the new trail segment began in January to accommodate new ramps constructed as part of the project to add express lanes on I-66 outside the Capital Beltway. [W&OD Trail/Twitter]

Vienna Police Busy During Memorial Day Weekend — According to the most recent weekly report, the Vienna Police Department responded to a variety of incidents during last week’s ViVa Vienna festival. Issues included a juvenile attempting to enter a locked trailer, a driver backing into a police vehicle, and thefts of $20, a beverage, and 100 wristbands. [Sun Gazette]

Firefighters Rescue Kitten in Woodlawn — “On Saturday, May 28, a crew from Woodlawn Fire Station (Tower 424) responded to a non-emergency call from the Mount Vernon area about a whimpering kitten that had been stuck in a tree for over an hour. The team of first responders, led by Lt. Dave Bender, used the bucket to access the kitten and bring it to safety.” [On the MoVe]

See Photos from Reston Pride — The 2022 Reston Pride Festival was held at Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday (June 4). The festival’s fifth iteration featured more than 65 vendors, drag and spoken word performances, the acapella quartet Kinsey Sicks, and more. [Washington Blade]

Things to Do in Fairfax County This Summer — Fairfax County’s guide to the season highlights outdoor concerts, swimming pools and water parks, a “family adventure pass” to county rec centers, the Fairfax County Public Library’s summer reading program, and the recently launched “Potomac Banks” tourism campaign. [Fairfax County Government]

It’s Monday — Clear throughout the day. High of 79 and low of 61. Sunrise at 5:45 am and sunset at 8:33 pm. [Weather.gov]

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(Updated at 5:40 p.m.) Leon Jia should’ve been working on his neuroscience homework Wednesday night (May 25).

Instead, just 10 days before his graduation, the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ) senior was busy reaching out to classmates and various student leaders, and in less than 48 hours, they had potentially half the student body ready to walk out in protest of gun violence.

More than 100 students filed out of the magnet school on Braddock Road at 9 a.m. today (Friday), spurred by the same frustration, grief, and desire for action in the wake of the recent Uvalde, Texas, school shooting that has inspired walkouts across Northern Virginia, including at McLean High School.

“I think this is a voice of anger and of mourning for the lives that were lost and for the events that led to this,” Jia said.

The 18-year-old gunman who stormed Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on Tuesday (May 24) killed 19 kids and two teachers, making it the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since 26 people died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December 2012.

As TJ’s student body president, Jia says multiple people approached him on Wednesday, asking if there were plans for a walkout in response to the shooting. He soon learned that a couple of groups were planning protests and started working with them to coordinate their actions, including communicating their plans to the school administration.

While this was Jia’s first time helping organize a school walkout, many of the students involved had prior experience. More than 800 TJ students participated in the widespread protests after the Parkland school shooting in 2018, and this past March, students walked out to call for action on climate change.

Talking to FFXnow yesterday (Thursday), Jia said he feels walkouts have become almost “mundane somehow,” so he wanted the upcoming protest to be one that “has impact.”

“The issue of school shootings has gone on for so long and there have been so many,” Jia said. “It’s like clockwork. They just rhythmically puncture the fabric of America, but at the same time, there’s a certain responsibility that we can’t stay silent and do nothing.” Read More

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The exterior of the NRA building in Fairfax (via Google Maps)

Following yesterday’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas, Fairfax Democrats plan to host a vigil tonight (Wednesday) at the National Rifle Association’s building in Fairfax.

“Nearly ten years after Sandy Hook, little children and teachers are mass murdered in their classrooms,” the Fairfax County Democratic Committee’s event site reads. “Another young adult male with easy access to assault weapons matches the suburban teen who murdered with racist rage in Buffalo. Take action now. Join us tonight.”

A gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, reviving the debate over how to address gun violence across the country.

In Fairfax County, the shooting prompted a school board member to advocate for adding security vestibules at schools. In Arlington County, police stepped up security at schools today in light of the shooting.

The event page encourages attendees to bring candles. It says the vigil will be held at 11250 Waples Mill Road from 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Photo via Google Maps

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Members of the advocacy group Moms Demand Action join the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to designate June 3 as Gun Violence Awareness Day (via Fairfax County/Flickr)

(Updated at 3:15 p.m.) A Fairfax County School Board member plans to advocate for adding security vestibules at schools in the wake of the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. in nearly a decade.

Melanie Meren, who represents Hunter Mill District on the board, will introduce a motion at a meeting tomorrow (Thursday) requesting that Fairfax County Public Schools develop a plan to fund and install vestibules at all facilities, she said in social media posts last night (Tuesday).

Meren says she previously worked on the proposal when she joined the school board in 2020 to provide an additional layer of security on top of the intercom that most FCPS facilities use to grant entry.

“Security vestibules are a strategy for preventing intruders from gaining access to schools,” Meren told FFXnow by email. “A security vestibule requires visitors to be verified by staff in a secured sign-in area, before doors are electronically opened that grant the visitor access to the building.”

According to Meren, FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand has estimated it would take $15 million to install the enclosures and related electronic systems in facilities that don’t already have them.

Meren intends to put forward the motion as part of the school board’s scheduled vote to approve the fiscal year 2023 budget. She suggests the money could come from county funds left over from this current fiscal year, which ends on June 30, as well as state and federal funds that FCPS gets for security upgrades.

“This work is long over due,” Meren wrote. “Though yet again, public schools are responsible for addressing and funding responses to a public health crisis — gun violence is a public health crisis — while our mission is to educate children for a successful future.”

Meren was one of several Fairfax County elected officials to make public statements in response to yesterday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where an 18-year-old killed 19 children and two teachers.

The flags outside the Fairfax County Government Center have been lowered to half-staff and will remain there until sunset on Saturday (May 28).

The shooting reportedly started around 11:32 a.m. CDT — just two hours after the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to designate June 3 as Gun Violence Awareness Day. The school board is set to take the same action when it meets tomorrow.

“As a parent, I am heartbroken for the families in grief tonight and angry that, as a nation, we have not made much progress protecting innocent people, most especially children,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said in a statement. “Our children deserve a world that puts their health and wellbeing at the forefront.” Read More

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