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A dog believed to be a Staffordshire terrier was found chained up and shot in Mount Vernon (via FCPD)

A dog was chained up and shot this morning in the residential neighborhood behind the Woodlawn Shopping Center in Mount Vernon, police say.

Officers responded to the area of Bedford Terrace and Beekman Place at 3:35 a.m. after getting a call that there was a dog chained to a fence, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. Upon arriving, they discovered the animal had a gunshot wound.

“The chain was immediately removed, and the dog was taken to a nearby veterinarian’s office. The dog remains with the veterinarian receiving further care,” the FCPD said in a news release published this afternoon.

Police later determined that a community member had called earlier in the evening “after hearing a dog barking and a single gunshot,” the department said, adding that officers had searched the area but “did not find anything suspicious.”

The FCPD is now on the lookout for the owner of the dog, which is believed to be an adult, male Staffordshire terrier.

Police are asking residents in the neighborhood to review any surveillance footage they might have from last night. The department’s Animal Protection Police can be contacted at fcpdanimalprotection@fairfaxcounty.gov.

The FCPD also accepts anonymous tips through Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) and online.

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Virginia’s Conservation Police are investigating a reported shooting of a red-tailed hawk at Lake Accotink Park last week that required the bird to be euthanized.

A woman saw the hawk flying near the North Springfield park’s carousel on Wednesday (Jan. 18) afternoon. When she tried to get closer for a photograph, though, she found it “struggling” in Flag Run, a creek that passes through the park, according to Diva Crows, a local songbird rehabilitation center.

The woman took the bird to Diva Crows, which gave it fluids before transferring it to a veterinarian the following morning.

“The bird’s wing was broken, it was bleeding from the chest and under the eye,” Diva Crows Director Catherine Sevcenko told FFXnow. “Even worse, its head was twisted over its shoulder and it had little use of its legs.”

The vet took X-rays that indicated the hawk had been shot, with two pellets passing through its chest to its skull. The vet euthanized the bird “to end its suffering,” Sevcenko said.

The incident was reported to the Fairfax County Park Authority and Animal Protection Police, which notified the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR).

DWR confirmed that the case is under investigation, but no further details are currently available. The Fairfax County Police Department said the vet “reported the bird had two injuries due to being shot with BB’s.”

Red-tailed hawks are among dozens of species protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treat Act of 1918, which prohibits killing, capturing, selling, transporting or otherwise harming many wild birds without a permit.

There are an estimated 3.1 million red-tailed hawks worldwide, according to the Avian Conservation Assessment Database.

“We do not have an estimate on the number of red-tailed hawks in the county and are not aware of any other such occurrences,” an FCPD spokesperson said.

Sevcenko says Diva Crows gets about one shot bird per year, though her operation has remained relatively small since starting in 2012. The center got a raven last year that had been shot but survived, ultimately winding up at the Cayuga Nature Center in Ithaca, New York.

Diva Crows typically handles songbirds, but Sevcenko’s state permit enables her to take in raptors or birds of prey if they’re transferred elsewhere for additional care within 24 hours. The center accepts injured and orphaned animals for rehabilitation from anywhere in Virginia, though most come from Fairfax and Arlington counties.

Sevcenko says she hopes publicizing the incident will help investigators figure out what happened and who was responsible.

“These cases are hard to investigate but having a witness really helps,” she said, noting that the Lake Accotink Park visitor saw the bird flying but didn’t hear the pellet shots.

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DonorSee founder and CEO Gret Glyer (via DonorSee/YouTube)

An Arlington man was indicted by a Fairfax County grand jury yesterday for allegedly shooting and killing Gret Glyer, founder and CEO of the nonprofit crowdfunding platform DonorSee.

Joshua Danehower, 33, faces felony charges for murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, the Office of the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney announced today.

Fairfax City police found Glyer shot to death in his Bolton Village Court home on June 24, 2022. They were called to the house by Glyer’s wife, who was home at the time with their two children, according to NBC4.

Glyer was 32 when he was killed. It was the city’s first homicide since 2008, police said at the time.

Danehower was arrested at Dulles International Airport five days later. Police identified him as an acquaintance of the family — possibly through their church — though court documents indicated that he was an ex-boyfriend of Glyer’s wife and had been seeking to “reconnect” with her, FOX5 reported.

According to the commonwealth’s attorney’s office, detectives said at a preliminary hearing that they identified Danehower as the suspect “through analysis of the bullet casings found on the scene.”

“My office takes violent crimes like these very seriously, and we are grateful to Dets. Trey Lightly and Matthew Greene for their excellent work on this case in pursuit of justice for the victim’s family and the community,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said in a statement.

Glyer founded DonorSee in 2016, inspired by his time living in Malawi, where he helped start the Girls Shine Christian Academy, according to the nonprofit’s website. The platform supports donations to charity projects and nonprofits, raising $6 million for nearly 14,000 different projects.

The trial date for the case will be determined tomorrow (Thursday), according to Descano’s office.

Danehower is being represented by the Fairfax County Office of the Public Defender, which told FFXnow that it has no comment.

Photo via DonorSee/YouTube

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Giant Food in Vienna (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) An argument between family members escalated into gunshots being fired outside the Giant Food in Vienna on Sunday (Jan. 8), the town police department said yesterday.

Officers responded to a report of gunfire near the grocery store at 359 Maple Avenue East around 3:40 p.m. One person commented on Nextdoor that their wife was leaving the adjacent Michael’s when she got pulled back inside.

“She says she could smell gun smoke when she was able to leave,” the commenter said.

Two people were injured in the incident. While the injuries were considered minor in both cases, one person was transported to a hospital for treatment.

“Further investigation by the criminal investigations section of the Vienna Police Department determined the incident began as a civil dispute between family members,” the VPD said.

Police initially said one person sustained injuries that were “not the result of a firearm.” When asked if that’s still believed to be the case for one or both individuals involved, the department said it had no further the information to share at the moment.

The investigation is still ongoing. Charges will be filed after investigators consult with the Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, police said.

“Shooting incidents are rare in the Town of Vienna and citizens should expect a full and complete investigation,” the VPD said today in a release. “The police department has dedicated numerous personnel to the investigation to ensure a thorough examination of the incident.”

The police say anyone with information about the incident can contact (703) 255-7845 or email juan.vazquez@viennava.gov.

Photo via Google Maps

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Isaias Lainez-Alvarado (via LCS0)

A Reston man has been arrested and charged in connection with a June 11 shooting of three people in Sterling.

Isaias Lainez-Alvarado, 19, was arrested at a home in Reston on Thursday (Jan. 5), according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

He has been charged with three counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony and three counts of malicious wounding in connection with the shooting on North Fillmore Avenue.

The suspect is being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center without bond.

Another teen under the age of 18 was arrested and charged in connection with the incident in June. That individual faces one count of attempted aggravated murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and four counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Shortly after 7:30 p.m. on June 11, a woman was shot several times, and two other individuals also had minor injuries after returning to the crime scene following the involvement of police, according to the sheriff’s office.

All three victims were released from the hospital.

LSCO worked with the Fairfax County Police Department to arrest Lainez-Alvarado.

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Morning Notes

Sunset over Hidden Creek Golf Course in Reston (photo by Cindy Ross)

(Updated at 8:45 a.m.) Two Shot in Bailey’s Crossroads — “Officers are in the 6000 blk of Glen Carlyn Dr in Bailey’s Crossroads for a shooting. Two victims taken to the hospital with injuries not considered life threatening. No suspect description. Call 911 w/info.” [FCPD/Twitter]

Summer Camp Registration Coming Up — “Registration for Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) summer camps serving children ages 3 to 16 will begin Jan. 10, 2023. Registrations fill up very quickly, so families are encouraged to visit the Park Authority Camps webpage to view more than 1,000 programming options to prepare” [FCPA]

Attorney General Launches Investigation of TJ — Jason Miyares said Wednesday that his civil rights office will probe Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology for delaying notifications to students who were commended by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Fairfax County Public Schools, which ordered its own review, has denied deliberately withholding the information, attributing it instead to “human error.” [The Washington Post]

Metro Worker May Have Operated Train While Drunk — “A Metrorail operator was arrested on Friday, December 23, 2022, on suspicion of operating a train while intoxicated (DWI), according to a public Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) document.” The Blue Line train failed to stop at the Van Dorn station, “coming to a stop for more than 30 minutes before safely discharging customers at Franconia-Springfield Station,” Metro said. [Greater Greater Washington]

Warrant Service Leads to Extended Standoff in Vienna — A Vienna resident was charged with assault and stalking on Monday (Jan. 2) after police received several calls about “disorderly conduct” at his home. When police tried to serve the warrants, the man began “throwing things off his balcony and threatening others,” leading to an hours-long standoff that ended around 10 p.m. without incident. [Patch]

Vienna Sandwich Shop Will Resurface in Arlington — “[Tim] Ma’s well-regarded Chase the Submarine, which closed in Vienna about five years ago, is making a comeback at Westpost on S. Joyce Street in Pentagon City, the chef confirmed…The sandwich shop is moving into the relatively small ‘cube’ space in the development’s plaza which was home to Bread and Water until this fall.” [ARLnow]

Virginia Rail Seeks More Funds from Fairfax County — “Fairfax County taxpayers would be on the hook for additional funding to help subsidize Virginia Railway Express (VRE) service in the next fiscal year, but the total funding from Fairfax County tax coffers would still be down from pre-pandemic levels.” [Sun Gazette]

Route 29 Widening Outside Centreville Expected This Spring — “In the next few months, Virginia Department of Transportation plans to begin construction to widen 1.5 miles of U.S. Route 29…from four lanes to six, between Union Mill Road and Buckleys Gate Drive. According to VDOT, approximately 30,000 vehicles a day travel the congested stretch of state roadway.” [WTOP]

Lincolnia Park Getting New Playground — “The Fairfax County Park Authority has begun work to replace the playground equipment at Glasgow Park. The project will require the park to close until the installation of the new equipment is complete…Contingent on the weather, the new playground is expected to open in February 2023.” [FCPA]

It’s Thursday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 67 and low of 50. Sunrise at 7:28 am and sunset at 5:01 pm. [Weather.gov]

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(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) A Woodbridge man has been arrested after allegedly shooting and killing a man in Lorton on New Year’s Eve.

Robert William Peters Jr., 23, turned himself in to Fairfax County police detectives on Monday night (Jan. 2), two days after 42-year-old Lorton resident Nahom Beyene was found suffering from gunshot wounds in the 9500 block of Unity Lane.

“Peters and Beyene were known to each other, and this was not a random act,” the Fairfax County Police Department said yesterday.

FCPD officers were called to the scene around 7:32 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 31) for a report of a shooting. They found Beyene “in the threshold of the doorway” to a home, but Fairfax County Fire and Rescue personnel ultimately declared him deceased.

Police say surveillance footage from residents in the neighborhood led them to identify “several individuals” who were seen in the area before and after the shooting.

Peters faces charges of second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, though no firearm has been recovered yet, according to police.

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

The cause of Beyene’s death will be officially confirmed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner “in the coming days,” the FCPD said.

Police are still seeking more information about the shooting:

We are asking anyone with information regarding these incidents 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 “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.

Beyene’s death was the 15th gun-related homicide seen in Fairfax County in 2022, the FCPD says.

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Fairfax County police cruiser with lights on (via FCPD/Facebook)

(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) A dog was shot and killed by Fairfax County police during a search of a house in Herndon this morning.

Officers with the Fairfax County Police Department’s SWAT team were serving a search warrant in the 1500 block of Powells Place Tavern, a neighborhood of single-family homes near Dranesville Elementary School, according to the department.

The team was looking to recover police equipment that had been stolen “from another jurisdiction,” the FCPD said at 7 a.m.

“During the service, at least one officer discharged their firearm striking a dog,” police said. “No other injuries reported.”

The department tweeted at 7:35 a.m. that the dog had died.

In an update this afternoon, police said the search warrant was executed in connection to a larceny of an unmarked Prince William County police vehicle reported in the 13900 block of Mansarde Avenue in the Dulles area on July 28.

“The unmarked police vehicle was assigned to a civilian investigator from the Prince William County Police Department,” the FCPD said. “A ballistic vest, a gas mask and a set of keys were stolen from inside the vehicle.”

The department say it obtained the search warrant after its Gang Intelligence Unit detectives learned that an 18-year-old Herndon area resident had the stolen items. The teen was arrested today, and the stolen property was recovered, along with an “AK47-style rifle,” police said.

Per the FCPD, the teen has been charged with possession of stolen property and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is being held in custody with no bond.

“The circumstances leading up to the discharge of the firearm and the death of the domestic animal are being investigated by our Internal Affairs Bureau,” the FCPD said. “We will provide additional information when it becomes available.”

Photo via FCPD/Facebook

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Fairfax County police car lights (file photo)

(Updated at 8:15 p.m. on 12/1/2022) A man was found shot outside The Landings I apartments in Mount Vernon Tuesday (Nov. 29) afternoon.

Officers were called to the 8500 block of Hyman Way near Richmond Highway for a shooting at 3:27 p.m. and found an adult man in the parking lot with gunshot wounds to his upper body, the Fairfax County Police Department said.

The victim was transported to a hospital with injuries initially considered life-threatening, though his status was upgraded upon his arrival at the hospital, according to police.

The FCPD said at 4:05 p.m. that a person of interest had been taken into custody. Police determined that the shooting had occurred inside an apartment near the parking lot.

“Officers took a person of interest into custody and located a firearm,” the police department told FFXnow. “The person of interest and the victim are known to each other. Detectives continue to investigate to determine the circumstances that led up to the shooting.”

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Fairfax County Police Department footage of Park Police shooting McLean resident Bijan Ghaisar (via FCPD)

It has been five years since U.S. Park Police officers pursued and shot McLean resident Bijan Ghaisar in Fort Hunt, ultimately killing him.

Still seeking closure and accountability for the officers involved, Ghaisar’s family will mark the five-year anniversary of the shooting with a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in D.C. at 7 p.m. today.

The vigil is being organized by the Bijan Ghaisar Foundation, which was formed by the family to honor their loved one and advocate for victims of police brutality and gun violence.

“The pain, anger, and frustration never diminishes,” the organization said on Facebook. “…We hope you can join us and help keep [Bijan’s] spirit and memories alive, and to continue to demand accountability. We have not and will not stop fighting.”

Ghaisar died in a hospital on Nov. 27, 2017 — 10 days after two Park Police officers shot him nine times, concluding an extended chase from George Washington Parkway to the Fort Hunt Road and Alexandria Avenue intersection. He was 25 years old.

A criminal case against the officers, identified as Alejandro Amaya and Lucas Vinyard, was dismissed last year by a judge who said they “were authorized by federal law to act as they did.” A dispatcher initially said Ghaisar was responsible for a hit-and-run, but later clarified that his vehicle was in fact the one that had been hit, court documents said.

Mark Herring, Virginia’s attorney general at the time, appealed the ruling with backing from Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano, but Attorney General Jason Miyares dropped the manslaughter charges against the officers in April after he took office.

After previously suggesting it would help with the prosecution, the Justice Department said in June that it won’t pursue federal charges against Amaya and Vinyard after all, stating that it “does not have an adequate basis to reopen its prior investigation.”

Ghaisar’s family still has a civil personal injury lawsuit against the Park Police pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria.

According to The Washington Post, Amaya and Vinyard declined to answer questions about their actions at depositions last month, prompting Ghaisar’s family to file a motion asking the judge to compel them to provide testimony. A hearing on that motion has been scheduled for Dec. 9.

In a joint statement released this morning, Virginia Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine along with Reps. Don Beyer and Jennifer Wexton said the Department of the Interior, which includes the Park Police, “has taken several positive steps” in response to Ghaisar’s shooting, including a new requirement that officers wear body cameras.

However, reiterating sentiments voiced by elected officials over the past half-decade, the legislators expressed frustration with the lack of accountability and transparency around the federal investigations into the shooting:

Today marks five years since Bijan was shot and killed by U.S. Park Police. While we appreciate that the current leadership of the Department of the Interior has taken several positive steps to ensure that the failures that led to the tragic death of this young man don’t happen again, we remain deeply disappointed that the Ghaisar family’s pleas for justice and closure have not yet been answered. Bijan’s friends and family deserve closure for the killing of Bijan, which includes making sure that the individuals responsible for his death are finally held accountable.

Investigations involving use of force should be handled in a timely manner and include constant information sharing with the families involved and the public. Failure to do so undermines public trust in law enforcement and our institutions. It is our sincere hope that through increased transparency and communication, the Ghaisar family will finally receive the closure they need.

Per the Post, Vinyard and Amaya are on paid administrative leave and haven’t returned to active duty since the shooting. The Interior Department moved to fire them last year, but they filed a challenge that is still pending.

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