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Ismael Cruz-Delcid, 18, of Herndon has been arrested for allegedly fatally shooting a teen outside a hotel in McNair (courtesy FCPD)

An 18-year-old suspect turned himself in last night in connection with the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old Westfield High School student on Wednesday (March 20), police say.

The Fairfax County Police Department announced the arrest of Ismael Cruz-Delcid, 18, of Herndon at a press conference this morning (Friday).

Police suspect Cruz-Delcid knew the victim, who died after being shot outside the Sonesta Extended Stay Suites in the McNair area of Herndon. Another teen was shot at during the two rounds of firing but managed to escape without injury.

The FCPD identified Cruz-Delcid as a suspect in the shooting yesterday. He has been charged with second-degree murder, the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and felony distribution of cocaine.

The drug charge stems from “a previous narcotics investigation,” police previously stated.

The shooting happened around 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday after a verbal argument between the three teens in the hotel parking lot.

Police Chief Kevin Davis emphasized that, while it’s unclear if the encounter was gang-related, the victims knew each other, characterizing the encounter as a “neighborhood association.”

Davis lamented the proliferation of guns in small disputes as a nationwide challenge.

โ€œSeemingly petty disputes are resolved with firearms,โ€ Davis said.

Police said that the teens were involved in ongoing verbal disputes that remain under investigation.

Cruz-Delcid turned himself shortly after 11 p.m. last night after a discussion between law enforcement and an attorney. He did not provide any statement to police and is being held without bond.

The suspected shooter recently graduated from Mountain View Alternative High School in Centreville, according to police.

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Michelle Reid said the school system is providing counseling to students at Westfield and Herndon High School, along with other high schools on an as-needed basis.

(Updated at 8 p.m. on 7/11/2023) Fairfax County Public Schools went 2-for-2 in Major League Baseball’s 2023 draft last night (Sunday), as a pair of its standout players snagged coveted first-round slots.

Ranked as the 23rd top prospect in the country by MLB, James Madison High School graduate Bryce Eldridge was selected by the San Francisco Giants as the 16th overall pick of the draft, thanks to his formidable skills as both a hitter and a pitcher.

According to Inside NoVA, Eldridge got the news at Bear Branch Tavern in Vienna, surrounded by family and friends whose cheers and hugs stood in contrast to the boos that accompanied MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred throughout the televised draft.

An 18-year-old who bats left-handed and throws right-handed, Eldridge has been hyped as the best two-way player in this year’s draft class, even drawing comparisons to Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani.

In June, he helped lead the Madison Warhawks to its second state championship in three seasons with a victory over Chantilly’s Westfield High School — coincidentally the team of Jonny Farmelo, who got drafted in the first round yesterday by the Seattle Mariners.

Named “Player of the Year” for the D.C. area by the Washington Post, Eldridge also won a gold medal last fall in the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s Under-18 Baseball World Cup. His performance in that tournament cemented his reputation as someone to watch on the mound and at the plate, according to Baseball America writer Carlos Collazo. Read More

The Fairfax County Public Schools administrative center in Merrifield (file photo)

(Updated at 10:40 a.m.) The Virginia Attorney General’s office has launched an investigation into Fairfax County Public Schools, alleging that delays in notifying students of commendations for their preliminary SAT test scores may constitute civil rights violations.

Attorney General Jason Miyares announced yesterday that the entire school system will be subject to a review that began last week with a focus on Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ).

The expansion comes after principals at Westfield and Langley high schools reportedly informed families over the weekend that they also didn’t notify students designated as “commended students” by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) this fall.

“It’s concerning that multiple schools throughout Fairfax County withheld merit awards from students,” Miyares said in a press release. “My office will investigate the entire Fairfax County Public Schools system to find out if any students were discriminated against and if their rights were violated.”

In a letter to FCPS Superintendent Michelle Reid, Miyares said his office is investigating whether the school system violated the Virginia Human Rights Act’s prohibitions of discrimination based on race, color and national origin.

Reid said she “proactively” alerted the attorney general’s office to the lack of “timely notification” for Westfield and Langley students after it was found by an independent review that the school system initiated last week, according to a message sent to the community yesterday.

“As soon as this new development was confirmed, Westfield and Langley high schools notified all impacted families and their broader respective school communities,” Reid wrote. “Please be aware that FCPS is committed to sharing information that impacts our communities as soon as possible.”

Reid said school staff have been contacting colleges where the affected students applied.

“We are sincerely sorry for this error. Each and every student, their experience and success, remain our priority,” she said.

Initially, the delay at TJ appeared to be “a unique situation due to human error,” Reid said on Wednesday (Jan. 4).

She said then thatย the attorney general’s investigation will include “a review” of TJ’s admissions policies, which were revised in 2020 in an effort to diversify the magnet school’s student body. A lawsuit arguing that the changes discriminate against Asian students is currently in aย federal appeals court.

Notably, the delayed notifications for commended students at TJ were first reported by Asra Nomani, co-founder of the Coalition for TJ, which filed the lawsuit opposing the admissions changes.

The National Merit Scholarship Program recognizes the top 50,000 scorers on the pSAT, a practice standardized test often considered by colleges. Though only a handful of actual scholarships are awarded each year, about 34,000 students get letters of commendations that go out in late September, per the website.

FCPS announced in mid-September that 238 of its students had advanced to the semi-finals. It didn’t mention how many students were commended.

In letters to the Washington Post, local public education advocate Holly Hazard and a former university admissions director argued that Miyares and Gov. Glenn Youngkin — both Republicans — have “wildly overreacted” to the delayed notices, a sentiment echoed by a couple Democratic elected officials.

“There is nothing to investigate,” state Sen. Scott Surovell (D-36) told FFXnow, noting that information about pSAT scores is available online through the College Board website.

“Fairfax County has the best public schools in Virginia and the Governor and Attorney General are trying to bring their culture war to Fairfax because they’re not willing to invest in public schools or treat our teachers like licensed professionals,” he said in an emailed statement.

The investigation precedes a General Assembly session convening Wednesday (Jan. 11) that will see consideration of a voucher program allowing public funds to be used for private school expenses, among other education-related proposals.

It also kicks off a year where all 12 seats on the Fairfax County School Board — currently held entirely by Democrats — will be up for election.


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