Good Thursday morning, Alexandria!
🌧️ Today’s weather: Expect rain and fog with a high near 61 and southwest winds of 5 to 8 mph. Precipitation has an 80% chance with amounts ranging between a tenth and a quarter of an inch. For Thursday night, rain is likely, along with possible thunderstorms after 4 am, but primarily cloudy and areas of fog will persist. Temperatures will drop to around 55 with south winds of 5 to 7 mph. A 70% chance of precipitation remains, with similar totals, but potentially higher amounts during thunderstorms.
🚨 You need to know
After multiple cases earlier this month of swatting — a false call about a serious threat that forces police to mobilize a major response — the Alexandria Police Department (APD) was forced to evacuate one school and put another on lockdown after a swatting call yesterday.
Yesterday around noon, a call of a weapons violation came in for Charles Barrett Elementary School (1115 Martha Custis Drive). The call also said a device had been planted in the school. Students had to relocate to a nearby recreation center while police swept through the building searching for any suspicious devices — none were found.
Meanwhile, Cora Kelly Elementary School for Math, Science and Technology was also put on lockdown status after a similar threat.
According to APD:
This afternoon (Jan. 24), the City of Alexandria Police Department received multiple calls threatening the safety of two Alexandria City Public Schools. The APD takes every threat to public safety seriously. The investigation today revealed no threat or danger.
At approximately 12:04 p.m., APD responded to Charles Barrett Elementary School (1115 Martha Cutis Drive) after receiving a call of someone going to the school with guns. Multiple officers, K9s, and Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) responded and began searching the school. School administrators made the decision to evacuate and move students to Cora Kelly School (3600 Commonwealth Avenue) to allow APD to conduct an extensive search. APD assisted and remained with students and faculty who were relocated to Cora Kelly School. APD completed the search of Charles Barrett and determined there was no threat.
While police were on scene, additional calls were received claiming more threats, the last calls indicating the threats were directed at Cora Kelly School where police were already positioned and were able to determine there was no threat.
Police remained on the scene for general dismissal. The APD continues to investigate with the support of federal authorities who have offered their assistance.
If you have any information regarding this incident please call 703-746-4444. Tips will remain anonymous.
These threats are believed to have been incidents of “swatting”.
Swatting is a term used to describe criminal activity by an individual or group who knowingly provides false information to police suggesting that a threat exists, causing a police or emergency services response.
Swatting is a criminal offense and can be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor up to a Class 6 felony with up to five years imprisonment.
📈 Wednesday’s most read
The following are the most-read ALXnow articles for Jan 24, 2024.
- BREAKING: Charles Barrett Elementary evacuated and Cora Kelly on lockdown due to threats (11592 views)
- Cold? Del Ray’s pop-up bar is going to resemble an Aspen ski lodge (1982 views)
- Former Francis C. Hammond student nominated at the Oscars (1517 views)
🗞 Other local coverage
- Council approves street name changes, 301 N. Fairfax St. development
Alexandria Times (Wednesday @ 7:39 pm)
- Tight-knit, waterfront community becomes home to longtime city residents
Alexandria Times (Wednesday @ 7:03 pm)
- 3-Alarm Warehouse Fire Causes $5M In Damages In Alexandria
Patch (Wednesday @ 4:07 pm)
- Threat Prompts Evacuation Of Alexandria Elementary School
Patch (Wednesday @ 1:11 pm)
- Go Behind the Scenes With the Alexandria Fire Department’s Community Academy, Starting March 13
Zebra (Wednesday @ 12:19 pm)
- Free Photo Exhibit: “Through the Seasons” by Eva Hartman at Canal Center Gallery, January 26
Zebra (Wednesday @ 10:24 am)
- BB Gun Assault Sends Victim To Hospital In Alexandria: Police
Patch (Wednesday @ 9:43 am)
📅 Upcoming events
Here is what’s going on today in Alexandria, from our event calendar.
A bit of a slower news week in Alexandria. The fight over the Potomac Yard arena was still ongoing and Metro funding got tied up into the mix. Over the…
A new pilot program to step up parking enforcement in Old Town netted 4,000 citations in its first month. A staff memo (page 8) to the Traffic and Parking Board…
The Alexandria School Board approved its fiscal year 2025 $384.4 million combined funds budget on Thursday night and it is asking City Council for $21 million more than the previous…
A 4 BD/3 BA brick townhome with a gas fireplace, floor to ceiling windows and a 2 car garage is featured in Just Listed.
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Peace in Gaza: Prayer Liturgy and Community Discussion for Peace in Arlington VA, Sunday, Feb. 11, 10:15 AM
Prayer, liturgy, and community discussion for peace in Gaza, an immediate cease fire and resumption of humanitarian aid will be hosted by Nova Catholic Community. The focus will be Pope Francis’ call for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, resumption of humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza, and peace talks for a lasting and just peace for all people in the region.
Discussion will follow at Noon on US military role in the conflict and appropriate steps the US should take to foster peace and rebuilding. Light lunch served.
Again this year, The Critical Mass, LLC, the Made in ALX store and local Ukrainian-American artists are throwing a Pysanky Party — and partnering on a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization Razom for Ukraine.
The free event, from 5 –