Alexandria, VA

ALXnow has identified the victim from Wednesday’s murder in the West End as John Harding Pope.

Pope, 57, was shot at his home in the 5900 block of Quantrell Avenue in the Mayflower Square apartment complex. He later died at the hospital.

Neighbors Devonte Burgess and his girlfriend Kayla Barb live on the floor above Pope, who lived with his 77-year-old mother. Burgess and Barb were briefly arrested and then released.

“(T)hey took us both into custody, basically trying to figure out if I had a gun in my home, which I never had,” Burgess told ALXnow. “He was a good man, 57-year(s) old, didn’t cause any problems.”

Barb said that the suspects tried to break into the apartment she shares with Burgess the previous night.

“They’re trying to break into people’s apartments and rob them,” Barb said. “They were trying to kick our door in.”

Neighbors Walter and Tammy Washington don’t feel safe. They say that the building next door to them where Pope lived has become dangerous in recent months, with young people hanging out on the front steps, smoking marijuana, arguing and fighting at all hours of the day.

“Cursing, yelling, running up and down the stairs, slamming doors,” Walter Washington said, adding that Pope has been a constant presence. “(Pope’s) kind of like the house mom, so to speak, for the building.”

Alexandria Police did not respond to calls for comment.

This is the second homicide this year in Alexandria. The first homicide occurred a mile-and-a-half away on July 29.

Video via Taylor Brown / Image via Facebook

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