Two teens were arrested yesterday (Tuesday) for allegedly firing a gun inside the bathroom of a McDonald’s near Edison High School.
Fairfax County police responded to the fast-food restaurant at 5600 Franconia Road in Rose Hill for a “suspicious noise” heard around noon, according to scanner traffic on Open MHz. A caller reported that a gun had been fired in the men’s bathroom, and someone “ran out” and got into a black sedan, a dispatcher said.
“No one was injured and several juveniles were seen leaving the business after the sound of the gunshot,” the Fairfax County Police Department said in a news release. “A witness provided a description of a vehicle seen leaving the scene.”
An officer reported that a hole was found in the bathroom, per the police scanner.
According to the FCPD, officers were able to “quickly” locate the vehicle and take multiple individuals into custody. An officer said on the scanner that two people and at least one weapon were found in the car.
Some of the individuals involved were identified as students at Edison High School, where another teen returned after the gunshot incident, police said. The teen was located with help from a school resource officer and Fairfax County Public Schools security.
Officers immediately coordinated with the SRO, quickly located the involved juvenile, and took him into custody at 2:11 p.m. Officers worked with FCPS security to review surveillance footage. During this review, the juvenile was seen entering a bathroom. A search of this bathroom discovered a firearm concealed above a ceiling tile.
The teen who allegedly hid the gun has been charged with carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a firearm on school property. One of the other teens faces chargees of reckless discharge of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and brandishing, the FCPD announced.
Police described the ongoing investigation as “fluid.”
“Detectives are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the discharge in the McDonalds bathroom,” the police department said.
Photo via Google Maps
A driver was killed and a motorcyclist seriously injured in two separate crashes in Fairfax County this morning (Thursday).
The fatal crash occurred around 12:30 a.m. on the Capital Beltway (I-495) near Eisenhower Avenue in the Rose Hill area, according to Virginia State Police.
“A tractor-trailer and a Honda sedan collided in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 near Eisenhower Ave,” the VSP said in a brief news release. “Both vehicles came to a stop on the left shoulder.”
The sedan wound up “under the front of the tractor-trailer,” trapping the car’s driver, according to scanner traffic on Open MHz.
The sedan driver, an adult woman, died at the scene, police said. As of 6:37 a.m., police were still in the process of notifying the woman’s family.
“The crash remains under investigation,” a VSP spokesperson said. “The Virginia State Police Fairfax Division Crash Reconstruction Team and Motor Carrier Safety Team responded to the scene to assist with the investigation.”
— Alan Henney (@alanhenney) November 9, 2023
Just a few hours later, around 4:25 a.m., Fairfax County police and emergency medical services responded to a reported hit-and-run that critically injured a motorcyclist on Richmond Highway at Fairfax County Parkway in Fort Belvoir.
“Male motorcyclist hit by a red sedan. Driver of sedan fled the scene,” the Fairfax County Police Department said in a tweet at 5:32 a.m. “Motorcyclist was taken to hospital w/ injuries considered life-threatening.”
According to the police scanner, a dispatcher reported that the motorcyclist “was down” in the roadway and said “their leg is gone.” The responsible vehicle reportedly sustained “heavy front-end damage.”
“It’s going to look like fleeing vehicle shouldn’t have any headlights at the moment,” an officer said at 4:34 a.m. “They’re all on the ground here.”
Southbound Richmond Highway at the intersection was closed for the police investigation. The roadway has now reopened after the vehicle and driver responsible for the crash were located, the FCPD said at 9:12 a.m.
The motorcyclist remains hospitalized, according to police.
Officers on scene of a hit & run crash at Rt.1 & Rt. 286 in Ft. Belvior. Male motorcyclist hit by a red sedan. Driver of sedan fled the scene. Motorcyclist was taken to hospital w/ injuries considered life-threatening. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/70qU9eSRRv
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) November 9, 2023
With Halloween less than a week away, time is running out to assemble a costume and housing decorations ghoulish enough to impress neighborhood trick-or-treaters.
Fortunately for those making last-minute preparations, the seasonal pop-up Spirit Halloween has taken possession of several vacant retail stores across Fairfax County.
That includes a return to the former Lord & Taylor store at Tysons Corner Center, which first got converted last year after previously hosting a mass COVID-19 vaccination site. Long-term plans to redevelop the building at 7950 Tysons Corner Center got approved last month by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
Accessible from the Plaza, the store is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, except for Sundays, when doors close at 7 p.m.
Other locations include:
- Fairfax Towne Center in the former Bed Bath & Beyond (12100 Fairfax Towne Center)
- Crossroads Center in Bailey’s Crossroads, also a former Bed Bath & Beyond (5810 Crossroads Center Way)
- Springfield Commons in the former Party City (6721B Frontier Drive)
- Rose Hill Plaza in a former Tuesday Morning (6140 Rose Hill Drive)
- Village Center in Centreville, another former Tuesday Morning (5619 Stone Road)
The company’s website also lists a store as “coming soon” to the former Office Depot (3536 South Jefferson Street) at Crossroads Center in Bailey’s Crossroads. Spirit Halloween didn’t respond to FFXnow by press time when asked if that location is still coming.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Spirit Halloween announced before this season began that it would be its “biggest” one yet, with more than 1,500 locations around North America.
“We’ve seen Halloween grow from a single day of excitement into a season-long celebration, with so many enthusiasts showcasing their love for Halloween all year long,” Spirit Halloween CEO Steven Silverstein said in a press release. “…However you celebrate this season, we have everything Halloween fans need, from the classics to the hottest new trends.”
In addition to opening physical pop-up stores every fall, the business sells Halloween costumes, decor and animatronics year-round online.
Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk is asking the owner of Rose Hill Plaza to lower the number of residential units and increase retail space in its next redevelopment proposal.
The six-decade-old shopping center located off Franconia Road is slated for significant redevelopment but has met some community opposition in terms of how exactly that will be done and what the new center will include.
The developer’s preliminary proposal submitted on Oct. 25, 2022 envisioned adding a six-story, mixed-use residential building with 56,000 square feet of retail and green space to the shopping center.
Now, Lusk is asking for specific changes to that initial plan based on “community feedback” after meeting with Combined Properties twice since April, he said in a recent newsletter. Lusk said he was set to meet with the developer again shortly.
“My message to them will be the same as it has been in the previous two meetings,” Lusk wrote. “My expectation, based on community feedback, is that the next version of their proposal should significantly lower the amount of proposed residential units and significantly increase the proposed amount of retail space.”
Lusk said he believes Combined Properties will follow this request, but if not, the proposal will be deferred once again until “I believe [it’s] ready for public consideration.”
He anticipates the new proposal to be ready by the fall or early winter. If so, the Board of Supervisors could then approve a review by staff and remove it from Tier 3 of the county’s 2023 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Work Program.
Eventually, public hearings will be scheduled, sending the plan to the board for approval — potentially by the end of the year, Lusk noted.
However, some residents oppose reducing the amount of housing proposed at Rose Hill Plaza. The YIMBYs of Northern Virginia — a budding regional group that advocates for “more and denser housing” to make housing more affordable, per its website — said it is “disappointed” in Lusk’s request in a statement to FFXnow.
Rose Hill faces the same crisis that most of NoVA faces: working class residents – including essential workers like teachers, nurses, and government employees – cannot afford to live in the area. We remain excited by plans to upzone and develop the Rose Hill development with newer retail, more green space, and hundreds of new residential units. We are disappointed to hear that Supervisor Lusk has recommended deferring the project until the plans include more retail and less housing. The two need not be mutually exclusive: by building up, there’s plenty of space for more retail and more housing.
The group said that while a “vocal subset” of locals may oppose more housing, the idea has support from plenty of others who don’t have time to speak up, use English as a second language or are currently “priced out” of living in Rose Hill.
“Building a place people want to live and linger in is more important than an arbitrary amount of square footage assigned to retail,” local resident Alexis Glenn said. “Retail space will remain empty if we continue to scale back the housing needed to support it. Rose Hill will never be able to support the kind of high-quality retail and services the community desires if there isn’t a significant increase in housing.”
On the other side of the argument is the Rose Hill Coalition, a group of private citizens fighting against reducing retail at the shopping center. Founder Sharada Gilkey says the group is “neither encouraged nor discouraged” by Lusk’s statement, which she says came after she and the Rose Hill Civic Association talked to the supervisor last month. Read More
Fairfax County is making another push to fund pedestrian safety improvements at Shrevewood Elementary School in Idylwood.
The long-gestating crosswalks project is one of five that the Fairfax County Department of Transportation intends to submit to the state for funding consideration under the federal Transportation Alternatives grant program.
“This program invests in community-based projects that expand non-motorized travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by improving the cultural, historical and environmental aspect of the transportation infrastructure,” FCDOT said in a press release last week.
For fiscal year 2025, which starts July 1, 2024, the department will request a total of $9.2 million to fill walkway gaps to the Mason Neck Trail in Lorton, add a shared-use path on Compton Road in Centreville, and support three Safe Routes to Schools projects — a program that encourages students to walk and bike to school.
Shrevewood Elementary School — Safe Routes to School
- Total estimated cost: $2.99 million
- Grant request: $1.14 million
Part of a larger effort to improve safety in the Shreve Road corridor after a fatal crash in 2019, this project will add marked crosswalks at Fairwood Lane, the school’s eastern driveway and across Virginia Lane at Virginia Avenue. The Fairwood Lane crosswalk will include a pedestrian refuge island.
FCDOT says the crosswalks “will provide neighborhood access to school amenities” and the nearby Washington & Old Dominion Trail.
Bush Hill Elementary School — Safe Routes to School
- Total estimated cost: $3.66 million
- Grant request: $1.86 million
Approximately 850 feet of sidewalk will be added on Bush Hill Drive between Ninian Avenue and Larno Avenue in Rose Hill.
“Completing this missing sidewalk link will improve safety and accessibility for children walking and bicycling to school,” FCDOT said.
Lake Braddock Secondary School — Safe Routes to School
- Total estimated cost: $2.55 million
- Grant request: $2.04 million
Crosswalks and a pedestrian signal will be constructed at the school’s entrance on Burke Lake Road. The project will also reconstruct a sidewalk on the road’s south side to be 6 feet wide and bring six ramps up to ADA standards.
Mason Neck Trail
- Total estimated cost: $13.96 million
- Grant request: $1.7 million
The project will build missing pieces of the walkway along Gunston Road from Richmond Highway (Route 1) to the existing trail.
Compton Road Walkway
- Total estimated cost: $9.3 million
- Grant request: $2.5 million
Approximately 550 feet of a 10-foot-wide, paved shared use path will be added on the east side of Compton Road, connecting the Cub Run Stream Valley Trail with an existing path crossing to the Bull Run Regional Events Center’s entrance.
The project will also widen a bridge over Cub Run to accommodate the shared use path.
FCDOT Communications Specialist Lynn Krolowitz noted that the grant request amounts could be revised if the project cost estimates changed before the applications are finalized in October.
“FCDOT select projects based on several factors such as program eligibility criteria and project readiness requirements, the need of continued funding for existing projects, and previous Board approval/consideration, which assumes some level of public involvement,” Krolowitz said in an email to FFXnow.
To be eligible for Transportation Alternatives grants, projects must have already gotten public feedback, be ready for design, require less than four years of construction, have a “logical” endpoint — such as an existing sidewalk or a road intersection — and be beneficial even if no other improvements are made in the area, according to FCDOT.
Three of the projects under consideration in this round, including the Shrevewood project, have previously gotten the grants, giving them priority in the selection process, Krolowtiz says.
FCDOT will host a virtual public input meeting to discuss the proposed projects at 6 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).
Image via Google Maps
A pickup truck carrying multiple vehicles became consumed by fire after crashing on the Capital Beltway (I-495) in the Rose Hill area early this morning (Friday).
Virginia State Police responded to the crash near the Van Dorn Street exit at 3:50 a.m., according to a news release.
“At this stage of the investigation, it appears a pickup truck had been traveling west on I-495 when it ran off the road, struck the Jersey wall and came to rest in the eastbound lanes of I-495,” the VSP said. “The impact of the crash caused the vehicle to become engulfed in flames.”
Two people were transported to the MedStar Washington Hospital Center with injuries described as serious.
In a tweet, the Virginia Department of Transportation initially said the crash involved a tractor-trailer before revising the description to a “multi-vehicle crash.”
Police now say that there were multiple vehicles but only one driver.
“The pickup truck was pulling a trailer that was loaded with two other vehicles,” police said.
As the morning rush hour got underway, delays built up to a mile in each direction, but all lanes reopened before 7:30 a.m.
An investigation of the crash by state police is underway.
Correction: this was a multi-vehicle crash and did not involve a tractor trailer.
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) April 28, 2023
The pitch by owner Combined Properties — submitted as part of the county’s ongoing Site-Specific Plan Amendment (SSPA) process — argues that the current shopping center reflects an “outdated, auto-oriented concept that contradicts Fairfax county’s goals and objectives.”
If the proposal is approved, the developer would time the overhaul with the end of several leases in 2027.
“If the Property is not accepted into this cycle’s SSPA process, the Property risks long-term vacancies until 2035 which is detrimental to the health of the Property and the neighborhood,” the application states.
Anchored by Safeway, the shopping center spans a little over 11 acres.
A six-story, mixed-use residential building with 56,000 square feet of retail and green space is planned. A freestanding ‘jewel box’ retail building will front most the property, bordering proposed green space along Rose Hill Drive.
In its application, Combined Properties says it has already “thoughtfully” scaled back the proposed development in response to community engagement this spring.
However, some neighboring groups are already opposing the proposal, forming a Rose Hill Coalition to advocate for an update of the shopping center rather than a full redevelopment and rezoning.
“We hope that Combined Properties sees this an opportunity to improve the shopping center,” Sharada Gilkey, founder of the coalition, said. “We would like to work with CP to support and improve the center to ensure the future success of its local businesses, small and large, and to better serve the local community.”
Concerns flagged by the coalition include the prospect of increased traffic in an already congested area, the incompatibility of the apartment complex with surrounding single-family homes, and the reduction in walkable retail and office space.
Combined Properties has no intention to sell the property after it is redeveloped.
“The Applicant is also committed to ensuring the surrounding residential community has continued access to quality public amenities, including the retention of a grocery store option to anchor the retail program,” the application states.
The proposal was formally accepted for review by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 6. Like the other applications submitted as part of the SSPA process, which allows land use changes to the comprehensive plan for individual sites, the county will evaluate it for further consideration.
A new CBD retail store is set to open in Alexandria’s Rose Hill Shopping Center this week.
Healthy Vibez CBD, a health and wellness store for CBD products, will hold its grand opening on Friday (Oct. 28). The store will sell CBD beauty products, crafted drinks, health bars, vapes, and more.
Chairman Riz Nasar tells FFXnow that the store will also serve as an education and resource center for CBD products. He says it’s for anyone who wants to try CBD and needs to know where to start.
“A lot of people think that it makes you high–it doesn’t. It actually does totally the opposite. It makes you even calmer, it makes you relaxed, it makes you sleep better, it helps with PTSD, it helps with anxiety,” Nasar explained.
He says he was in a car accident when he was a child and CBD was the only thing that helped him with lingering pain.
“It’s really helped, it really works–and we want to share our experience and my personal experience,” Nasar says.
Another reason he wants to educate people on CBD is because of the confusion he faced with landlords and other officials when trying to launch the business. He says some people were hesitant after confusing CBD with marijuana.
“Finally, I found a like-minded agent who said, let me let me work with you, and so he took our business plan, and he was able to get us this place in Rose Hill Shopping Center.”
Nasar added that the store works with a local lab “to ensure every single product is being manufactured under the watchful eyes of experienced scientists and chemists.”
He says the products are made in small batches to ensure quality and freshness.
For its grand opening, the store will ask visitors to cut a ribbon to enter the store. The store’s hours are Monday-Saturday 11 am-7 pm, and Sunday, 12-5 pm.
(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.
An 82-year-old man died in Rose Hill yesterday afternoon (Tuesday) after an apparent assault by his son, Fairfax County police say.
Samy Hassanein, 36, was arrested overnight and has now been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his father, Talat Hassanein, the Fairfax County Police Department announced this morning (Wednesday).
According to the department, its officers were called to the 5500 block of Justis Place at 2:37 p.m. yesterday for a death investigation. Upon arriving at the house, they found Talat Hassanein unconscious at the bottom of the basement stairs.
Talat was pronounced deceased at the scene by Fairfax County Fire and Rescue personnel.
“As detectives began investigating, they identified significant trauma to Talat’s upper body,” the FCPD said. “Detectives from our Crime Scene Section responded to the scene and discovered evidence to indicate Talat’s death was not accidental.”
Interviews and evidence collected at the home led detectives to determine that Samy Hassanein “fatally assaulted his father,” police said. Talat lived at the home with Samy and his other adult sons, who were all present during the investigation, according to the FCPD.
Samy Hassanein is currently in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond.
The police department says anyone with information about the incident can contact its detectives:
Detectives are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to call our Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 2. 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 and follow the steps to “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.