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Mayor: City Must Redouble Efforts to Catch Dangerous Criminals, Get Weapons Off Streets

In response to the city’s second murder, Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson said the city must redouble its efforts to  “get these dangerous criminals and their weapons off our streets.”

“I am saddened to hear that another Alexandria neighborhood has experienced this horrific violence,” Wilson told ALXnow. “I know that our Police Department is working around the clock to bring the perpetrator of this homicide to justice and I have every confidence they will be successful. I keep the victim and his family in my thoughts during this extraordinarily difficult time.”

On Wednesday afternoon, a 57-year-old man was shot to death in a residential neighborhood in the Landmark area. Later that same day, guns were drawn in a failed attempted robbery less than a mile away — the latest violent incidents in what Wilson acknowledges is part of an uptick in violent crime.

Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown is soon expected to comment on the homicide.

Wilson said he is in constant contact with the police department and city leadership regarding these and other incidents. He said that neither of the homicides appear to be connected “in any way” to the other firearms incidents around the city.

“Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in firearm violence in the City, mirroring similar increases around the region this year,” he said. “We must redouble efforts to get these dangerous criminals and their weapons off our streets.”

Earlier this month there was a shootout in the West End, and there was a surge in calls for shots fired over the summer. The increase in violent crime led to a bigger police presence over the summer in the Parker Gray neighborhood in Old Town.The first murder of 2020 was committed in the West End on July 29.

This week, police are expected to release data on violent crimes and an update on the uptick in shooting events.

Councilman Mo Seifeldein said that the department is funded and fully capable of responding to these crimes.

“These are tragic events that we do not wish to see in our community,” Seifeldein said. “Our police department is fully equipped and funded to respond to these atrocious events, and I have full faith in their discharging that duty.”

City Councilwoman Del Pepper offered sympathy to the family of the murder victim, who has not yet been publicly identified.

“The police will be on top of it,” Pepper said. “We live in such troubled times, and when something like this comes along it shatters the lives of families and friends. It breaks my heart. We will find out who did it and we will bring justice to the victims.”

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