Two Alexandria men were arrested last month for shooting a gun from a vehicle in the city’s Arlandria neighborhood.
The incident occurred at around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 8. Two Alexandria Police officers in an unmarked SUV observed a white Mercedes-Benz disregard a red light at the intersection of Russell Road and Mount Vernon Avenue, according to a search warrant affidavit. Police then began to follow the car.
The white Mercedes-Benz then began to circle around the Arlandria neighborhood.
“As the vehicle approached the McDonald’s and Volkswagen dealership in the 100 block of W. Reed Avenue, the officers observed muzzle flashes coming from the driver’s side window,” police said in the search warrant.
Police conducted a high-risk stop and pulled the suspects over. They found the “firearm was located in the back seat of the vehicle and the shell casings were on the driver’s side floor,” police said in the affidavit.
The gun, a Polymer80, is a “ghost gun” with no serial numbers.
Police believe that the passenger, 22-year-old Jason Castillo, took the gun from a book bag, reached across the driver and fired out of his window. Castillo told police that he has been targeted by members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang, and that he thought that they were being followed by MS-13, not the police.
Both the suspects “stated the shots were to scare or warn them (MS-13) from continuing to follow them around the neighborhood,” police said in the affidavit.
Castillo is being held without bond for shooting from a vehicle, carrying a loaded firearm in public, shooting in a public place, speeding and disregarding a traffic signal. The driver, 20-year-old Erick Romero Molina, was released on $3,000 bond on September 9, and was charged with carrying a loaded firearm in public, shooting in a public place and malicious shooting at a vehicle. Both men go to court on November 15.
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