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Two cars crashed on Wilson Blvd in Seven Corners, killing a pedestrian in the adjacent parking lot (via Google Maps)

One of the two drivers involved in the Seven Corners crash that killed Maryland father Albert Sweat will face criminal charges, the Fairfax County Police Department announced yesterday (Wednesday).

Yansi Martinez Gonzalez, a 26-year-old resident of Falls Church, was charged on Tuesday (Aug. 30) with reckless driving and driving without a license for her alleged role in the fatal Aug. 18 crash, where two cars collided and one hit Sweat as he was walking in a parking lot in the 6200 block of Arlington Blvd.

According to police, Martinez Gonzalez was driving north in a 2012 Honda Civic on Wilson Blvd when she attempted an “improper” lane change from the left lane, running into the side of a Volkswagen Jetta that was headed in the same direction.

“The collision forced the Volkswagen off the roadway into the adjacent parking lot, striking Mr. Sweat as he was walking,” the FCPD said. “The Volkswagen continued over a median and struck a parked 2010 GMC Yukon before coming to rest in a mulch bed.”

Martinez Gonzalez has been released on a summons ahead of a scheduled court appearance.

A construction foreman, Sweat left behind a wife and eight children. Talking to FFXnow last week, his eldest sister, Jean, and niece, Tierra, described him as a kind, loving person and a music enthusiast.

Tierra Sweat also called for safety improvements around the Wilson and Arlington Blvd intersection where the crash occurred.

Photo via Google Maps

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Albert Sweat, who has eight children, was killed in a crash last week (courtesy Jean Sweat)

The family of a Maryland man who died after a car struck him in a Seven Corners parking lot is seeking justice. 

Albert Sweat, 62, of Silver Spring, was killed on Thursday (Aug. 18) after two cars that were merging into the same lane collided in Wilson Blvd, Fairfax County police reported.

The driver of a 2012 Honda Civic attempted to change from the left lane to the right at the same time that the driver of a 2017 Volkswagen Jetta went from the right to the left lane. Both cars collided, causing the Volkswagen to veer off the roadway into the parking lot.

The Volkswagen hit Sweat, a construction foreman who was walking through the parking lot in the 6200 block of Arlington Blvd. The car also hit a median and an occupied 2010 GMC Yukon.

The police department is continuing to investigate the details of the crash to determine if charges will be pursued.

Family members say they want justice for Sweat, who will be remembered for his love of music — including teaching the art to his children — and his kind and loving personality. 

Jean Sweat, his eldest sister, says the incident is best described as “vehicular manslaughter.”

“Because of two irresponsible drivers…his kids will grow up without a father around. As a husband, brother, father and uncle, he will truly be missed. His demise should not be in vain,” Jean Sweat said.

He leaves behind his wife and eight children, two of which are from a previous marriage. 

His niece, Tierra Sweat, said Albert was in the area working to secure a contract for a gazebo he planned to build. He was killed in front of a guitar store — a bitter irony given his love for music. 

According to Tierra, crash witnesses indicated that the intersection where the crash occurred is prone to accidents. 

“There is a clear problem in that intersection that needs to be addressed,” she said. 

So far, police do not believe that alcohol or speed were a factor in the crash.

Still, Tierra hopes that some change can come out of her uncle’s untimely death — whether it is fines or new traffic laws or an assessment of crashes in that area. 

“This was just negligence and heinous,” she said.

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Fairfax County police car lights flashing (file photo)

(Updated at 10:10 a.m.) A pedestrian has died after a crash in Seven Corners that reportedly involved two different vehicles, the Fairfax County Police Department says.

Police received a call for service to the 6200 block of Arlington Blvd at 8:38 a.m., according to FCPD spokesperson Sgt. Tara Gerhard. The person was transported to a hospital, where they died. Both drivers remained on the scene, according to police.

Gerhard confirmed that the crash hasn’t required any road closures. The Virginia Department of Transportation’s live traffic site doesn’t show any significant congestion, though a Route 50 camera at the nearby Patrick Henry Drive intersection appears to be down.

However, the FCPD advises community members to avoid the area.

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Major Crimes Bureau Commander Ed O’Carroll announces charges in a homicide in Seven Corners (via FCPD/Facebook)

A man from Arlington has been charged with second-degree murder after police found a woman who had been set on fire and stabbed multiple times in Seven Corners on Wednesday (Aug. 10).

Richard Montano, 47, was arrested at his home in Arlington around 6:30 p.m. after allegedly fleeing the scene of the homicide in the 2900 block of Willston Place, where police say he assaulted Silvia Vaca Abacay, 40, of Falls Church and set her on fire.

Officers responded to The Villages at Falls Church at 3:05 p.m. after a neighbor reported a man and woman having an argument in an adjacent condominium, the Fairfax County Police Department said yesterday (Thursday).

There, they found Vaca Abacay “on fire and suffering from multiple stab wounds to the upper body,” according to the report announcing the charges against Montano.

“First responders extinguished the fire and attempted to provide life-saving measures. Sadly, she was pronounced deceased at the scene,” the FCPD said.

According to police, a witness reported seeing a man flee the scene, prompting a shelter-in-place order for residents while officers searched the area.

The FCPD says Montano was identified as a person of interest based on “an investigative analysis” of the condo by detectives with help from professional support staff. They also located surveillance footage that showed Montano entering the home prior to the murder, according to police.

The Arlington Police Department provided assistance in locating and arresting Montano, who is being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

In addition to murder, Montano has been charged with burglary with intent to commit murder and burning of an occupied dwelling.

“The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is in the process of conducting an autopsy to determine the exact cause and manner of death,” police said.

The FCPD has investigated 14 homicides so far this year, slighly under the 15 homicides recorded by this point in 2021.

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Police are conducting a homicide investigation at The Villages at Falls Church (photo by Ed O’Carroll)

Updated at 5:50 p.m.Fairfax County detectives are still investigating and looking for a suspect in a homicide at Willston Place in Seven Corners, but the shelter-in-place order has been rescinded.

Earlier: Residents of The Villages at Falls Church have been told to shelter in place, as police search for a possible suspect in a homicide in the Seven Corners area.

Officers are currently on the scene in the 2900 block of Willston Place, the Fairfax County Police Department said just after 4 p.m. today (Wednesday).

Police say officers found a dead woman inside an apartment, and a witness reported seeing a Hispanic man wearing a white hat, light blue shirt, and khaki shorts “running” from the scene.

The FCPD advises community members to avoid the area.

The investigation is occurring just blocks away from where police were conducting an undercover drug operation last week that ended with a detective shooting a man.

Area residents were also subjected to an hours-long barricade that Tuesday (Aug. 3) when a man at the Barcroft Hills condominiums was seen carrying a gun and yelling threats from a balcony.

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The marketplace concept is inspired by farmers markets (via Anne Preble/Unsplash)

This month, Fairfax County residents in need will have a couple of opportunities to stock up free fresh produce and other food.

The Cathy Hudgins Community Center at Southgate is taking part in the Capital Area Food Bank‘s Community Marketplace program, which provides fresh produce every second Saturday of the month. The next distribution is slated for Saturday (Aug. 13) from 8:30 to 11 a.m. at the center, which is located at 12125 Pinecrest Road in Reston. 

The partnership is the product of an alliance between the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services and the food bank, which aims to bring food distributions to communities in need. 

Lately, nonprofit partners have reported high levels of food insecurity in the state and the county. Food insecurity is a growing challenge for moderate-income families in what is becoming a high cost-of-living area.

According to the food bank, one out of 10 residents in the D.C. region is food insecure, nearly a third of them children. 

The Willson Multicultural Center in Seven Corners will also hold a food distribution this month through a partnership with Comunidad, a nonprofit in Falls Church that aims to engage and help locally rooted community leaders.

The event serves over 250 families each month, and volunteers take boxes of food to the homes of local Ukrainian families.

The community marketplace concept intends to bring farmers-market-style opportunities with high-quality, fresh produce for people who are food insecure. The events often include cooking demonstrations, utility assistance, health screenings and descriptions for recipes.

Photo via Anne Preble/Unsplash

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Morning Notes

I-66 construction in the Oakton area (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Two Face Drug Charges After Seven Corners Police Shooting — “Two men have been charged after an officer-involved shooting that occurred last night at approximately 10:45 p.m. in the 6100 block of Arlington Boulevard in Seven Corners…The officer involved in the shooting has been identified as an 11-year veteran assigned to the Street Crimes Unit.” [FCPD]

Local LGBTQ+ Student Group Speaks Out — Fairfax County’s Pride Liberation Project released a statement backed by more than 600 students criticizing a proposal from the state Department of Education that they fear will classify any references to LGBTQIA+ people and events as sexually explicit. The guidelines address a new law that requires parents to be notified when school materials include sexually explicit content. [The Washington Post]

Meet Reston Association’s New CEO — “On Thursday, July 28, the Reston Association board of directors voted unanimously to confirm Mac Cummins, AICP* as the next chief executive officer of the non-profit organization…Cummins sat for a Q&A with the Connection Newspapers on Friday, July 29.” [Connection Newspapers]

Police Chief Addresses Staffing Emergency — The Fairfax County Police Department declared a personnel emergency last week, requiring officers to work mandatory overtime to compensate for staff shortages. Chief Kevin Davis says the department’s 189 operational vacancies are exceptionally high, though 51 recruits currently in the academy will eventually join the force. [ABC7]

Back in Nature, Snake Found in Fairfax Is Healing — “K2C Wildlife Encounters, LLC, received a call on June 5 from a Fairfax resident who had a snake in their backyard that they wanted removed…The female, eastern ratsnake had a torn jugular vein, a hole in her trachea, a protruding eye, numerous lacerations, and broken ribs.” [Patch]

New FCPS Teachers Prepare for School Year — “Minutello and Edinborough are among the newest teachers in Virginia’s largest school system, and are starting at a time when staffing challenges are making headlines. The county had hundreds of vacancies at the end of the last school year, but 97% of staffing positions have been filled as of last week, Superintendent Michelle Reid said.” [WTOP]

Centreville’s Ellanor C. Lawrence Park Lot to Temporarily Close — “The parking lot and entrance for Cabell’s Mill will be closed from Aug. 8 through Oct. 7, 2022, for construction. Work related to the new Stewardship Education Center will include a larger parking lot that will include features and a design that will better control and filter water from rain and runoff from the adjacent neighborhood.” [FCPA]

State Sales Tax Holiday Starts Tomorrow — “The 3-day sales tax holiday starts the first Friday in August at 12:01 am and ends the following Sunday at 11:59 pm…During the sales tax holiday, you can buy qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness items, and Energy Star™ and WaterSense™ products without paying sales tax.” [Virginia Department of Taxation]

It’s Thursday — Humid throughout the day. High of 95 and low of 76. Sunrise at 6:14 am and sunset at 8:18 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Police Chief Kevin Davis addresses media at the scene of a police shooting in Seven Corners (via Fairfax County Police Department/Facebook)

A Fairfax County detective shot a man last night (Tuesday) during what police say was a narcotics investigation in the Seven Corners area.

The shooting occurred near the intersection of Arlington Blvd and Patrick Henry Drive, the Fairfax County Police Department tweeted at 11:27 p.m.

As part of a drug investigation, undercover narcotics detectives in the area that evening identified people “who were allegedly involved in the illegal distribution of narcotics,” Police Chief Kevin Davis said at a media briefing.

“When they went to make the arrest, the persons were inside a motor vehicle. They took off at a high rate of speed,” Davis said. “They drove very recklessly, as you can see from the scene behind me, and when we attempted to take them into custody, a Fairfax County detective discharged his firearm.”

A preliminary investigation of the incident indicated that the car had “jumped a couple of curbs” before police blocked the vehicle in, Davis said.

According to Davis, the man who got shot was transported to a local hospital with an injury to an “upper extremity,” possibly his arm, but he’s expected to make a full recovery.

No other injuries were reported, including to a person in the vehicle’s front passenger seat or the police officers.

Criminal and administrative investigations into the shooting are underway. The detective who fired his gun is now on “a routine administrative status,” Davis said.

“It’s a very thorough criminal investigation. It’s a very thorough administrative investigation,” Davis said. “We work hand-in-glove with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, and we conduct a best-in-practice officer-involved shooting investigation.”

The shooting occurred just over a mile away from where police were engaged in an hours-long standoff with a man at the Barcroft Hills condominiums who had been spotted carrying a rifle and making threats.

Fairfax County police officers have now shot five people this year, two of them fatally at Springfield Town Center in late June and at a McLean home in early July. Police also shot a man in Lorton who was reportedly armed with a rifle in February and a man wielding a bow and arrow in Chantilly on Jan. 6.

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Rendering shows the new four-story Patrick Henry permanent supportive housing facility in Seven Corners (via Fairfax County)

Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday (May 10) to allow time for a homeless shelter replacement proposal to come to fruition, extending a review period to Aug. 10.

The capital project will transform the 9,500-square-foot Patrick Henry Family Shelter in Seven Corners to a new 24,000-square-foot permanent supportive housing facility with 16 units and a multipurpose room.

The extension of the 2232 review, which is required for proposed public facility projects, will give the county more time to acquire land rights needed for construction, according to Department of Public Works and Environmental Services spokesperson Sharon North.

“This complex land acquisition is necessary to receive all zoning and permitting approvals for the project,” North said. “As a result, the project schedule has been extended beyond what was originally anticipated.”

The building at 3080 Patrick Henry Drive is part of the Hollybrooke II Condominium complex, which was originally built as apartments in 1952. The county bought the building in 1985 and converted its 10 units into emergency housing shelter.

The units were expanded into the current shelter in 1996 and 2006.

Per a March application on the new project:

The existing structure is in poor condition, not code compliant, has multiple accessibility barriers and does not meet the program change to permanent supportive housing units. There is a critical lack of permanent supportive housing to serve the County’s homeless population. Studies show that no other method is proven more effective than supportive housing for ending chronic homelessness.

The new facility will be four stories and have five 2-bedroom units, eight 3-bedroom units, and three 4-bedroom units to continue serving large families experiencing homelessness.

While the Board of Supervisors owns the existing building, which will be demolished, the surrounding land and parking areas are controlled by the Hollybrooke II Condominium Association.

“For that reason, the [board] must obtain land rights in order to commence construction of the project,” North said. “With final approvals and purchase, the separation and ownership will transfer to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.”

The project is currently being reviewed by the county’s land development and planning staff. North says approvals from both departments are expected to come late this year.

Voters approved $48 million in bond money for the project and three other shelters in 2016. Those include the Embry Rucker Shelter in Reston, a joint fire station and Eleanor Kennedy Shelter relocation project in Penn Daw, and the Bailey’s Crossroads facility that opened in 2019.

The county has been working to increase its permanent housing assistance, making 1,645 beds available this year — a 12% increase from last year, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ annual Point-in-Time count released May 4.

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Morning Notes

Tulips across from Vienna Presbyterian Church (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

It’s Earth Day — The Fairfax County Park Authority launched a new Earth Day website this week to provide information on upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and ways to promote environmental stewardship. The annual occasion started in 1970 “to generate awareness and support for environmental protection.” [FCPA]

Community Raises $20K for Young Reston Soccer Player — “Aaron, a player in the Great Falls-Reston Soccer Club, recently told his coach that he couldn’t come to practice because he didn’t have any cleats. The elite soccer player explained that he was one of the 15 people who’d been displaced by a fire at the Stonegate Village Apartment complex in Reston on April 10.” [Patch]

No Development Planned for Seven Corners Shopping Center — “The Seven Corners Shopping Center is not going to be replaced with a mixed-use development, confirms Janet McCarthy, vice president of leasing at Saul Centers Inc., at least for the foreseeable future…Saul Centers expects to announce a new tenant for the Dogfish Head Alehouse spot by June 1.” [Annandale Today]

Firefighters Reunite with Rescued Vienna Resident — “Engine 402, Vienna, and Engine 430, Merrifield, A-Shift teamed up to assist an occupant out of a house fire last week. Engine 402 was thrilled to meet occupant recently, along w/Vienna Mayor Colbert, and saw he was well. #FCFRD is happy he is doing well after horrific event.” [FCFRD/Twitter]

Kingstowne Shopping Centers Change Hands — Federal Realty will acquire Kingstowne Towne Center and Kingstowne Shopping Center for roughly $200 million, the company announced yesterday (Thursday). The real estate firm says it will “amenitize” the towne center but has no immediate plans for redevelopment. The purchase doesn’t include the Regal cinema. [Washington Business Journal]

Herndon Satellite Company Prepares for Launch — “The long-delayed first launch of a Rocket Lab Electron rocket from Virginia is now scheduled for late this year, carrying satellites for HawkEye 360. Rocket Lab announced April 19 it signed a contract with HawkEye 360 to deliver 15 satellites over three launches.” [Space News]

Spring Fest Returns to Mosaic District — Caboose Commons is bringing back its celebratory spring festival tomorrow (Saturday), promising food, live music, and games as well as beer, wine, and cocktail tastings. The festivities begin at noon and continue until 7 p.m. [Caboose Brewing Company]

Reston’s Water Mine Hiring Tomorrow — “Looking for a fun summer job? This Saturday (4/23/22) the Water Mine in Reston is hosting an open hire. Stop by anytime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to apply, interview, and if offered a position, complete hire paperwork on-the-spot.” [FCPA/Twitter]

Marshall HS to Open Musical Next Week — “After a successful fall play, the Statesmen Theatre Department at Marshall High School is preparing to perform its spring musical on two upcoming weekends. The spring musical at Marshall High School will be the Tony Award-nominated ‘A Year with Frog and Toad.’ Performances are scheduled for April 28 and 29 and May 6 and 7.” [Patch]

It’s Friday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 72 and low of 51. Sunrise at 6:23 am and sunset at 7:54 pm. [Weather.gov]

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