Newsletter

(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) A 33-year-old Alexandria man is in custody after a Maryland man was killed at the BJ’s Wholesale Club in the Landmark area of the West End on Saturday night.

The incident occurred at around 7:45 p.m. Rakibul Fakir was charged with second-degree murder after allegedly stabbing 29-year-old Abiy Zemene to death.

Police said that the suspect and the victim knew each other.

“The adult male suspect remained at the scene until police arrived and was taken into custody without incident,” police said in a news release. “Officers and responding EMS attempted life-saving efforts, however the male was pronounced dead at the scene.”

The BJ’s Wholesale Club is next door to the Van Dorn Plaza shopping mall and near the intersection with Duke Street.

This is the first murder of 2021. There were three murders last year.

Anyone with information on the incident can call Detective C. Escobar at 703-746-6819. Callers may remain anonymous.

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Morning Notes

Maryland cold case victim was an Alexandria resident — “An Alexandria teen was identified as the victim in a cold case killing 45 years ago. Until now, she was known as the ‘Woodlawn Jane Doe.’ The body of Margaret Fetterolf, 16, of Alexandria, Virginia was found in the 5600 block of Dogwood Road near Lorraine Park Cemetery in Woodlawn, Maryland on Sept. 12, 1976.” [Patch]

Fairfax County puts extra protections around River Farm — “The additional protections will not prevent AHS from selling River Farm, nor is it a guarantee that the land will remain undeveloped. However, it does put hurdles up against the type of dense development at River Farm that has made neighbors nervous.” [Alexandria Living]

Things to do in Arlandria — “Catch a concert from a favorite artist, enjoy Salvadorian, Peruvian and Nepalese dining and admire powerful murals in Alexandria’s Arlandria neighborhood, steps from bustling Del Ray. Also called Chirilagua, after a region of El Salvador from which many of the neighborhood’s residents hail, Arlandria even inspired a Foo Fighters song by front man and former Alexandrian Dave Grohl.” [Visit Alexandria]

Today’s weather — “Partly to mostly cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 82F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.. Cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. Low 71F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New job: Fitness operations manager — “The Operations Managers are dedicated to making the fitness experience at our clubs an exceptional one. They create a clean, fun and friendly environment by training and motivating their staff. They also generate revenue, keep a clean and well maintained club, all while providing great customer service.” [Indeed]

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Alexandria was spared from significant flooding this week after remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through the East Coast. The only flooding found was on lower King Street in Old Town, where businesses laid sandbags at windows and doorways.

“We’re open inside, but if you want to eat you’re probably going to have to come barefoot,” a hostess at Mai Thai told ALXnow on Wednesday.

Our top story this week was, for the second week in a row, on the recent brawl inside Alexandria City High School.

It’s a three-day weekend, and on Sunday the annual Old Town Festival of Speed & Style will bring crowds to marvel at classic and beautiful rides along King Street. Monday is Labor Day, and the city will operate on a holiday schedule.

In this week’s poll we asked how satisfied readers are with Alexandria City Public Schools since reopening on August 24. A majority (31%) reported being extremely unsatisfied with the school system, while 29% said ACPS has done a good job, 25% are extremely satisfied and 14% are unhappy overall.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. BREAKING: Video shows brawl at Alexandria City High School cafeteria just two days after school starts
  2. 13-year-old hit by car while walking home from school in Del Ray
  3. Fox put George Washington Middle School into a lock-in today
  4. Man arrested for spending spree after finding wallet in Bradlee Shopping Center parking lot
  5. No injuries or arrests after shots fired on Duke Street
  6. ACPS Superintendent Hutchings asks community to hit the brakes on email campaigns
  7. Alexandria man arrested for beating up ex-girlfriend in Old Town North
  8. Alexandria sees cases rise in August and warns of COVID-19 in schools
  9. Alexandria man convicted for possessing child porn and violating parole
  10. Historic Black cemetery under threat of being washed away in Old Town
  11. Man swallows two bags of drugs and runs from police in Old Town

Have a safe weekend!

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(Updated at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, September 2) Alexandria Police are investigating the death of a man who was struck by a vehicle Wednesday morning (September 1) as he crossed the street in the West End.

The pedestrian has been identified as Simon Merino.

The incident occurred near N. Beauregard Street and Fairbanks Avenue at around 6:20 a.m., and as of 9:30 a.m., the roadway was still closed while police continued their investigation. The area where the crash occurred is near Northern Virginia Community College and Mark Center.

The driver was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and has not been charged with anything, police told ALXnow.

Police will release more information this afternoon on the incident. The roadway reopened at around 12:45 p.m.

Via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Police say no foul play suspected after body found in Four Mile Run Park — “Police activity in park behind 3900 block of Mt. Vernon has cleared. An adult male subject was found in the park. At this time, it does not appear to be suspicious. This is a Medical Examiner’s case.” [Twitter]

Fire Chief Smedley promotes staff — “In addition to promoting Lt. Sharpe and EMS Lt. Prodoehl, @SmedleyCorey promoted 18 other Lieutenants, EMS Lieutenants, and Captains. We’re celebrating the promotion of about 8% of our department. Congratulations to our new officers and thank you for everything you do!” [Twitter]

Ballyshaners to celebrate halfway point to St. Patrick’s Day — “On Saturday, September 18, from 11am-7pm, local Irish group The Ballyshaners welcome you to celebrate the halfway point to Saint Patrick’s Day.”

The Art League showcases the work of Bryan Sieling — “Enjoy collecting objects you’ve found? There is a new exhibit at The Art League Gallery on display through Sept.5 that takes collecting one step farther. Artist Bryan Sieling transforms objects into amazing works.” [Zebra]

Today’s weather — “Showers early then scattered thunderstorms developing later in the day. High near 80F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%… Considerable cloudiness with occasional rain showers. Low 73F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Full-time assistant store manager at Aldi — “When you join our team as an Assistant Store Manager, you’ll take on key store management responsibilities including assisting with supervising day-to-day store activities, ensuring overall store performance, managing schedules, and developing operational action plans while identifying training opportunities to develop and grow the team.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Man killed in Alexandria part of Fairfax County — “A man was found dead inside an Alexandria apartment building Wednesday night and police said detectives are investigating the death as a homicide. Fairfax County Police Sgt. Tara Gerhard with the Fairfax County Public Affairs Bureau said the shooting was reported just after 7 p.m. in 3100 block of Southgate Drive in Alexandria. Gerhard said a family member found the man with a gunshot wound to the upper body. When first responders arrived on the scene, medics pronounced him dead on the scene.” [WUSA9]

Help name new tunnel boring machine for Alexandria to build cleaner waterways — “Alexandria’s wastewater authority, is seeking the community’s input to name its 250-ton tunnel boring machine (TBM). The TBM, currently being manufactured in Schwanau, Germany, will bore through 100-foot-deep soil to construct the 12-foot-wide, 2-mile-long Waterfront Tunnel — ultimately preventing millions of gallons of combined sewage from polluting the Potomac River, Hooffs Run, and Hunting Creek.” [Zebra]

ACPS to give update on Minnie Howard expansion — “With the Alexandria High School Project in the design phase, the community will receive the latest design update on the Minnie Howard Campus and aquatic facility at an Aug. 10 meeting.” [Patch]

Today’s weather — “Partly cloudy early. Scattered thunderstorms developing in the afternoon. Storms could contain damaging winds. High around 90F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%… Scattered thunderstorms in the evening. Clear skies overnight. Low 73F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Closing assistant — “Universal Title, an established title company with over 20 offices throughout the VA-DC-MD area, is seeking a Closing Assistant for our Old Town Alexandria office. Industry experience is preferred, but no experience is necessary to apply. As a Closing Assistant, the successful applicant will need strong interpersonal skills, drive, and the ability to work as part of a team to accomplish complex tasks in a fast-paced environment.” [Indeed]

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A Woodbridge man was found dead of an apparent drug overdose in a coworking office in Old Town North on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

Alexandria Police found the man dead at a computer work station, according to a search warrant affidavit.

After moving his body, police found an orange prescription pill bottle under his desk. inside they found suspected crystal meth. Police also found a small mason jar with a white powdery substance in the man’s coat pocket, in addition to $1,420 in U.S. currency and multiple cellular phones.

The man, who is now suspected of being a narcotics dealer, graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2021, and owned a web design firm and a distribution company.

A search of his red 2020 Dodge RAM yielded a black Glock 19 handgun with a single bullet in the chamber, a black rifle with three loaded magazines in the bed of the truck, and five orange prescription bottles in nylon/toiletry bags.

The man’s vehicle has since been impounded.

A 62-year old suspected bank robber at the Alexandria Jail died at Inova Alexandria Hospital after a suicide attempt on May 18, the Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

Christopher Lapp was found unresponsive in his cell at 1:37 a.m., and he later died at 6:32 p.m. that same day. The manner of his death was not released.

Lapp allegedly robbed a Wells Fargo Bank in Great Falls in 2018, and suffered from severed mental issues, according to the Washington Post. He was transferred to the Alexandria Jail in March.

The Post also found that a clinician at the jail discontinued giving him psychotropic medication “after a staff clinician opined Lapp was not mentally ill.”

“Because this is an in-custody death, the Alexandria Police Department will conduct the death investigation, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “In addition, the Sheriff’s Office is conducting its own internal review.”

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Alexandria Police say that the recent death of an adult male in the Landmark Area on Sunday morning (April 25) does not appear to be suspicious in nature.

Police found an adult male dead after “an apparent fall” in the 300 block of Yoakum Parkway at around 6 a.m., according to an APD tweet. The area where the incident occurred is full of apartment buildings between Edsall Road and Stevenson Avenue.

“It did not appear to be suspicious in nature,” APD Senior Public Information Officer Amanda Paga told ALXnow. “It remains an active investigation. The ME (medical examiner) will determine the cause and manner of death.”

The man’s age and identity were not released.

Map via Google Maps

A number of Alexandria politicians support the guilty verdict against last year’s murder of George Floyd.

Mayor Wilson that Floyd’s memory will be honored in Alexandria when it improves the inequities associated to wealth, education, housing, health and injustice experienced by residents of color.

“We have a lot of opportunities to attack some of these systems that exist in our city that unfortunately prey upon the Black and brown residents of our city,” Wilson said in a candidate forum last night. “I proposed, with the support of all of my colleagues, to eliminate fares on our DASH bus system to help our transit-dependent residents in a significantly challenging time, which is a way that we can bring equity to that system.”

Wilson continued, “I’m proposing that we decriminalize some of our quality of life infractions that right now we send our police out to enforce areas that are primarily problem mediation opportunity. I want to get rid of escalating fines that criminalize poverty for a lot of our residents.”

Floyd was killed by then-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, and the video of his death sparked outrage throughout the country, including in Alexandria. Portions of the city were shut down during the summer for protests and vigils, and the event even turned the spotlight on the Alexandria Police Department.

Police Chief Michael Brown said last year that he was appalled by the video that showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes.

“I witnessed a homicide at the hands of a cop, and the victim of that homicide was Mr. George Floyd,” Brown said. “I had a very difficult time processing what I saw in that video, and it brought back a flood of memories from my youth in the 1960’s and various times throughout my career working with cops.”

Former Mayor Allison Silberberg, who is running against Wilson for the democratic nomination, said, “Thank God justice has been served.”

Councilman Canek Aguirre said that the guilty verdict is the first in a long list of steps that need to happen.

Councilman Mo Seifeldein tweeted that the conviction was an appropriate judicial outcome.

“Many victims of law enforcement brutality do not get access to justice due to a system that protects the bad actors,” Seifeldein said. “I am mindful of the resources and the public outrage that led the authorities to give this case its due consideration.”

City Council candidate Patrick Moran said that Floyd’s murderer would have gotten away with it 50 years ago when his father moved to Alexandria,.

“My dad moved to Alexandria 50 years ago to Del Ray,” Moran said. “It was redlined. There were no cell phones, let alone cameras on them. George Floyd would have been murdered by a policeman who would never have had a trial, let alone a conviction… So much injustice by the white folk that continue to keep the black folk in their place.”

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