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Fairfax County police car lights (file photo)

Gunshots were reportedly fired near Snakden Branch Trail in the Glade area of Reston shortly after midnight.

Police responded to the 2300 block of Middle Creek Lane around 12:22 a.m. after several callers reported hearing the sound of multiple gunshots in the area, according to scanner traffic on Open MHz.

A dispatcher told responding officers that at least one caller confirmed they saw a person firing the gun. An area resident said they saw “a muzzle flash about a hundred feet behind his house,” an officer reported at 12:28 a.m.

A spokesperson for the Fairfax County Police Department said evidence was recovered from the scene, but no injured persons were located.

“Detectives from our criminal investigation division are assuming the investigation,” FCPD wrote in a statement.

The entrance to the Marriott hotel at 3111 Fairview Park Drive (via Google Maps)

Updated at 1 p.m.Hiep Van Vo, the suspect in Sunday’s shooting at the Fairview Park Marriott, was arrested at 11 p.m. yesterday outside a Giant in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Fairfax County police said today (Monday).

Vo is in custody at the Montgomery County Detention Center “awaiting extradition back to Fairfax County,” according to police.

Earlier: Fairfax County police are looking for an Annandale man believed to be the suspect in a fatal shooting at the Marriott hotel near Merrifield early yesterday (Sunday) morning.

Detectives obtained warrants last night for 43-year-old Hiep Van Vo, charging him with second-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm as a felon, the Fairfax County Police Department announced.

Police and fire units were called to the hotel at 3111 Fairview Park Drive around 12:42 a.m. after a 911 caller reported that someone had been shot in the chest and arm, according to scanner traffic on Open MHz.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department personnel, who happened to be at the building after responding to an unrelated fire, found Charles Anthony Ashe Jr., 44, of Maryland “near the elevators suffering from gunshot wounds to the upper body,” the FCPD said.

Ashe was transported with life-threatening injuries to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he died that morning.

Witnesses reported that the shooting took place on the hotel’s sixth floor, and an officer said they found blood near the elevator, according to the scanner.

The FCPD says its detectives have determined that the shooting occurred after Ashe entered a hotel room where Vo was staying with four other people.

“Inside the room, Vo shot Ashe. No one else was injured,” the FCPD said. “Ashe was able to exit the hotel room and was carried by friends, who heard the gunshots, to the elevator. Vo fled from the hotel…Evidence of narcotics was discovered inside the hotel room.”

Police believe Ashe and Vo knew each other, and the shooting wasn’t a random act. The FCPD advises anyone with information about Vo to call 703-691-2131 or send a tip through Crime Solvers.

Image via Google Maps

A U.S. Park Police cruiser in McLean (file photo)

One U.S. Park Police officer fatally shot another in Tysons yesterday (Sunday), leading to an involuntary manslaughter charge.

Fairfax County police officers were called to an unintentional shooting in the 1700 block of Old Meadow Road — the Scotts Run area — at 12:20 a.m. When they arrived at the apartment, Jesse Brown Hernandez, a 22-year-old McLean resident, was found dead with “a gunshot wound to the upper body,” according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

Based on a preliminary investigation, police say an off-duty Park Police officer identified as 25-year-old Alexander Roy from McLean “was attempting to dry fire” his gun.

“Dry firing is when one simulates the discharge of a firearm by pulling the trigger of a firearm that is unloaded,” the FCPD said in a news release. “Roy unintentionally shot the firearm he believed to be unloaded, fatally striking Hernandez.”

Police believe alcohol played a role in the shooting.

There were a total of four people in the apartment at the time of the shooting, three of them off-duty Park Police officers, including Roy and Hernandez, according to the FCPD.

Roy has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and is currently in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond.

The Park Police said it was aware of the shooting but directed questions to the FCPD, which is conducting the investigation.

“Our focus right now is on supporting the family, friends and coworkers of our employees involved in this tragic incident,” the agency’s press office said in a statement. “USPP has nothing further to share at this time.”

Fairfax County police car (file photo)

A child was shot in the Lincolnia Hills neighborhood this afternoon (Tuesday), police say.

Police are looking for “multiple suspects” who were seen driving away from the 4600 block of North Chambliss Street in a white BMW, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

A man called 911 around 4:19 p.m. to report that his 12-year-old son had been shot by “a group of young boys” who then “went running,” a dispatcher said, according to the police scanner on Open MHz.

An officer told the dispatcher that he spoke with a neighbor who said “several subjects jumped into a white sedan” that drove off in an unknown direction.

The child was shot in the lower body and taken to a hospital, according to the FCPD, which says his injuries aren’t considered life-threatening.

Hat tip to Alan Henney

Juliana Peres Magalhaes, 23, of Reston has been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly shooting Joseph Ryan on Feb. 24, 2023 (courtesy FCPD)

(Updated at 4:10 p.m.) Police have made an arrest in a fatal shooting and stabbing incident that occurred in the Frying Pan area nearly eight months ago.

The Fairfax County Police Department announced today (Thursday) that 23-year-old Reston resident Juliana Peres Magalhaes has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder for allegedly shooting Joseph Ryan, a 39-year-old Springfield man who was killed at a house in the 13200 block of Stable Brook Way on Feb. 24.

The house belonged to the family of 37-year-old Christine Banfield, who was found that day in an upstairs bedroom with stab wounds to her upper body. She later died at a hospital.

The FCPD says officers were greeted by “an appalling scene” when they responded to the house shortly after 8 a.m.

Magalhaes, who worked for the Banfield family as an au pair, and Christine Banfield’s husband had jointly called 911, according to police.

“A 911 call was received where a woman stated her friend was hurt,” the FCPD said in a news release from Feb. 25. “A man then got on the line and stated he shot an unknown man who entered his home and stabbed a woman.”

Contrary to what Banfield’s husband allegedly stated in the 911 call, detectives now believe Magalhaes was responsible for shooting Ryan based on “forensic evidence and multiple interviews,” police said.

Banfield’s stabbing remains under investigation.

An initial tweet alerting the community to the incident indicated that the man who got shot — later identified as Ryan — was the suspect in the stabbing, but the police department now says it’s still working to figure out exactly what happened.

Erin Weeks with the FCPD’s violent crimes division confirmed at a brief press conference today that everyone involved in the case has been identified. Police don’t think Magalhaes knew who Ryan was when she shot him, but he and Banfield were known to each other.

“Detectives continue to conduct interviews and review digital and forensic evidence to determine the circumstances that led up to the fatal stabbing of Christine Banfield,” the FCPD now says.

Magalhaes is in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond, police said.

Fairfax County police (file photo)

Fairfax County police are on the lookout for an individual who apparently shot a man in Bailey’s Crossroads with a crossbow.

A caller told 911 shortly after midnight on Sunday (Oct. 15) that he was walking down Carlin Springs Road at Columbia Pike when something struck his back, like “he was shot with something,” but he couldn’t tell what it was, according to scanner traffic on Open MHz.

Officers and emergency medical services were dispatched to the 3400 block of Carlin Springs Road for the reported assault around 12:05 a.m.

Based on a preliminary investigation, police believe the adult man was shot with an arrow fired from a crossbow.

“The man was walking on the sidewalk when his backpack was struck by the arrow which continued into his back,” the Fairfax County Police Department said today (Tuesday) in a news release. “He was transported to the hospital due to injuries that were deemed non-life-threatening, and after receiving treatment, he was released.”

According to the scanner, the incident occurred near the 7-Eleven at 3420 Carlin Springs Road. The victim “didn’t see anything,” so no description of the suspect was obtained, an officer told the dispatcher.

Detectives with the Mason District station are continuing to investigate the incident. The FCPD asks anyone with information to contact the district’s criminal investigations division at 703-256-8035.

This isn’t Fairfax County’s first violent incident involving arrows.

On Jan. 4, 2022, a Chantilly man drew a compound bow on officers who had been called to help him get mental health treatment. One officer shot the man, who was hospitalized and later charged with felony assault and aggravated attempted murder against a law enforcement officer. Earlier this year, Fairfax County’s independent police auditor affirmed the FCPD’s determination that the use of force “was lawful and complied with departmental policy.”

The Fairfax County Courthouse (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 5 p.m.) A former Fairfax County police officer will face a court trial for shooting and killing Timothy Johnson outside Tysons Corner Center in February.

A grand jury indicted Wesley Shifflett today (Thursday) on felony charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano’s office announced.

According to police, Shifflett shot Johnson during a foot pursuit on Feb. 22 after he allegedly attempted to steal designer sunglasses from Nordstorm. A second officer identified as James Sadler, an eight-year veteran of the Fairfax County Police Department, also fired his gun.

Shifflett was fired by the FCPD, but a grand jury convened in the spring declined to indict him. Sadler remains employed by the police department.

In April, Descano requested a second, special grand jury that would allow prosecutors in the room while officers give testimony, something that wasn’t allowed during the original, regular grand jury’s hearings.

Carl Crews, an attorney representing Johnson’s family, confirmed the indictment. Johnson’s mother, Melissa Johnson, says her initial reaction was “just relief,” but she also has some mixed feelings knowing how rare an indictment is in cases against police officers.

“I don’t rejoice in what is coming upon the officer, and I also don’t rejoice because I know that this indictment and the news of this indictment is not the case for so many, many, many other impacted families of children, Black and brown, who’ve been the subject of police violence,” Johnson told FFXnow. “And so, as much as my heart is joyful, and I’m elated, I am still sorrowful of the impact and implications this had, that everybody just doesn’t get this to add to their story…There’s another family involved as well: this former officer, his family, his coworkers. So, my heart is sorrowful for this too.”

Descano said in a statement that the grand jury’s indictment will allow a jury of community members to see all evidence in the case:

As the elected head of Fairfax County’s justice system, my primary goal is to keep this community safe, and I have the utmost respect for the police officers throughout Fairfax County who work tirelessly to protect our community.

The work of public safety includes charging officers for crimes when such actions are legally warranted. After reviewing the evidence in this case, I believe that probable cause existed that Shifflett committed a crime, and that the entirety of the evidence should be put to a jury of community members. Seeking justice blindly in cases involving officers improves public trust in the law enforcement agencies that serve and protect our communities; failing to do so disgraces the role of prosecutor and ruins the public’s trust in the justice system.

Our nation’s justice system has historically been stacked in favor of protecting powerful institutions and individuals, and it is no small feat that the grand jurors returned a true bill after reviewing this matter.

I cannot imagine the pain Timothy’s family has felt through the months after his death. Though the grand jury returned an indictment for this incident, this will not heal the wound in the Johnson family.  I join the rest of the Fairfax County community in grieving for Timothy and his family.

Shifflett’s attorney, Caleb Kershner, blasted Descano for not accepting the original grand jury’s decision, calling his push for the special grand jury “purely political and shameful.”

“Descano’s actions have made Fairfax less safe,” Kershner said. “He has torn down the [police] department morale. He is simply Monday morning quarterbacking an officer’s decision to use lethal force when he reasonably believed he was about to be shot. It’s easy to sit back and second guess an officer’s actions. Few people understand what it’s like to have a gun pulled on you and regularly being put in risk of death. These men and women in uniform serve by putting their lives on the line every day. Descano has no concept of that.”

Though officers combed the scene for potential evidence, the FCPD later confirmed that Timothy Johnson didn’t have a weapon when he was shot.

A trial date will be scheduled on Friday, Oct. 20. At that time, Schifflett will be given a choice for whether a judge or a jury will preside over the trial, according to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Johnson’s death sparked renewed scrutiny of the FCPD’s policies regarding the use of force and foot pursuits. Since 2021, when current Police Chief Kevin Davis assumed the job, officers have shot nine people, including Johnson and Brandon Lemagne this year.

Last week, Davis addressed a series of reform recommendations from the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), which was hired to review the recent shootings, and a community Police Reform Matrix Working Group convened by Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk, who chairs the Board of Supervisors’ public safety committee.

Davis told the public safety committee that most recommendations have been implemented in some form, including a policy requiring that foot pursuits be documented and supervised, but a more detailed policy dictating when officers can pursue an individual is still in the works.

Fairfax County police vehicle with lights (file photo)

A Herndon man was arrested Tuesday (Oct. 10) in connection with shooting into three homes in Hattontown.

Sangram Singh Grewal, 26, was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted malicious wounding, three counts of maliciously discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling and three counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm, the Fairfax County Police Department announced yesterday (Wednesday).

Officers arrived at the 13000 block of Ashnut Lane shortly after 11 p.m. on Tuesday. Homeowners said their houses were damaged by the gunfire.

All three homes were occupied when the incidents occured, but no one was injured, according to police.

The FCPD says SWAT officers were able to track Grewal after finding multiple cartridge cases on the rear deck of a home. Detectives recovered firearms, magazines and ammunition.

Grewal is in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond.

Fairfax County Courthouse (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

A woman who shot and killed her mother and sister at their shared home in McLean six years ago has been convicted of murder for a second time.

A Fairfax County Circuit Court jury found Megan Hargan guilty of first-degree murder and using a firearm while committing a felony on Friday (Sept. 22) after a previous conviction got vacated due to juror misconduct.

“Pamela and Helen [Hargan] were loved by many, and their deaths in 2017 tore this community apart, with the added shock and horror of being killed in their own home by a family member,” Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said in a statement on Friday. “…Today’s guilty verdict has been a long time coming, and I hope [that] Pam and Helen’s loved ones will be able to take one step closer to healing.”

According to news releases from the time, police officers discovered the bodies of Pamela, 63, and Helen Hargan, 24, inside their home in the 6700 block of Dean Drive on July 14, 2017 after receiving a call around 2 p.m. that someone might’ve been killed there.

All three women lived in the house at the time, along with Megan Hargan’s then-8-year-old daughter, who wasn’t home when the shootings occurred, according to Descano’s office.

The Fairfax County Police Department initially characterized the killings as a murder-suicide, where Helen Hargan shot her mother before turning the gun on herself. But when announcing Megan Hargan’s arrest on Nov. 9, 2018, officials said there was suspicion “early on” that the scene may have been staged, WTOP reported.

Those suspicions honed in on Megan Hargan after investigators learned that she had tried to transfer money from her mother Pamela’s bank account on both the day before and the day of the murders, the FCPD said in 2018.

From there, police determined that the killings were motivated by a conflict over finances, the commonwealth’s attorney’s office said in a press release:

Megan, who was buying a house for her family, resented that her mother, Pamela, wasn’t helping her financially but was at the same time helping her sister Helen to buy a house. On July 13, the day before the killings, Megan attempted to transfer upwards of $400,000 from her mother’s bank account to pay for Megan’s new house, which was closing that day. The transaction was flagged as fraud, and the next day Megan shot her mother before attempting to make the same wire transfer again from her mother’s account. She then shot her sister Helen, who was upstairs. Both family members were killed by a .22 rifle, which belonged to Megan’s husband and was being stored in the McLean house temporarily.

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Three people were shot outside Taco Baja in Merrifield on Aug. 26 (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 9:55 a.m.) A man from Falls Church has been arrested for allegedly firing a gun into a crowd outside Taco Baja (7716 Lee Highway) in Merrifield.

Police say their investigation indicates that  Jorge Armando Melendez Gonzalez, 25, approached a group of men standing outside the restaurant early in the morning on Saturday (Aug. 26).

“During the encounter, the suspect was assaulted by one of the men and the suspect opened fire into a crowd of people who were standing in front of the business,” the Fairfax County Police Department said. “The suspect then fled the area on foot.”

Police were called to 7716 Lee Highway at 1:51 a.m. for the reported shooting, according to scanner traffic on Open MHz.

Upon arriving, officers found two adult men in the parking lot with gunshot wounds. One of the men had been shot in the arm, while the other was shot in the abdomen, the FCPD says. Both men were taken to a hospital, one of them with injuries that police initially said were life-threatening.

Police identified a third victim when Inova Fairfax Hospital called 911 at 3:39 a.m. to report that a man had walked in with a gunshot wound to the arm, according to FCPD and the police scanner.

“Officers were able to determine the victim was related to the earlier shooting,” the FCPD said. “The victim’s injuries were considered non-life threatening and he was treated and released from the hospital.”

Gonzalez was arrested late Sunday (Aug. 27) night by detectives from the FCPD’s violent crimes division with the assistance of the Arlington County Police Department’s robbery and homicide unit and SWAT team, according to the news release.

He has been charged with three felony counts of malicious wounding and three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony. He’s currently being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center with no bond.

“Detectives are still investigating if there’s any connection amongst all parties involved in this incident,” an FCPD spokesperson said.

Photo via Google Maps


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