Alexandria, VA

It was another busy week in Alexandria.

Our readers overwhelmingly responded to Sunday’s protest at the Alexandria home of acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, and the story has more than 380 comments. This week also saw its first homicide, which occurred in the West End, in addition to a number of crime events in the Braddock area.

Not included in our weekly list is late-breaking news on Friday that Alexandria City Public Schools want a virtual-only school year starting in September. Residents have been waiting throughout the summer for the school system to make up its mind, and ACPS has conducted numerous virtual chats with students, parents and staff over the last several weeks.

Here are our top stories this week in Alexandria.

  1. Activists Protest at Alexandria Home of Acting DHS Chief Chad Wolf
  2. BREAKING: Police Investigating Homicide in West End Residential Community
  3. Former APD Officer Peter Laboy Gets His Driver’s License Seven Years After Being Shot in the Head
  4. Just Listed in Alexandria
  5. Students and Residents Putting Daily Cover Over T.C. Williams High School Name
  6. BREAKING: Flooding Reported in Parts of City, AFD Responding to Multiple Emergency Calls
  7. Shots Fired Tuesday Night in Braddock Neighborhood
  8. Alexandria Delegate Wants City to Fire Officials or Police Who Espouse QAnon Theories
  9. Save the Tree Petition at T.C. Williams High School Garners Nearly 1,000 Signatures
  10. Man Injured in Violent Carjacking in Old Town
  11. COVID-19 Update: Deaths at 57, Case Count at 2,735 in Alexandria

Have a safe and fun weekend!

Staff photo by James Cullum

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Morning Notes

City Official Dies in Car Crash — “The City of Alexandria is devastated by the loss of Robert Bloom, Public Safety Systems Administrator in the Department of Emergency and Customer Communications (DECC), in a vehicle crash on the morning of July 20, 2020.” [City of Alexandria]

Alexandria Man Dies in D.C. Shooting — “Homicide detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department are investigating the fatal shooting of an Alexandria man that occurred Sunday night in the Shipley area of the city, according to a police release… MPD identified the decedent as Rayfone Gassaway, 37, of Alexandria, Virginia.” [Patch]

COVID-19 Cases Jump by 23 in Alexandria — “Positive tests up 23 to 2,582 in the City… Still safer at home, wash hands, wear masks and support our essential workers.” [Twitter]

Beyer Calls Out Trump Directive to Census Bureau — “A clear violation of the United States Constitution, which spells out in the 14th Amendment that ‘Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States.. counting the whole number of persons in each State..'” [Twitter]

National Coin Shortage Hits Alexandria — “At Alexandria stores like The Home Depot in West End Village and dozens of grocery and other retailers, customers are starting to see signs at checkout (like the one below) pleading with them to use a credit or debit card, or use exact change.” [Alexandria Living]

New Job: Youth Soccer Coach — “Prior soccer experience is not required. We only require the passion for positively impacting children’s lives through the love of sports and fitness. Valid driver’s license and access to personal vehicle Must be at least 18 years of age.” [Indeed]

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The family of an Alexandria man killed Monday night on Interstate 495 have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help with funeral expenses.

The fund to help the family of Derrick A. Marbury was launched three days ago and has so far raised more than $3,100 out of a $10,000 goal.

“Me and my siblings lost my father last night around 10pm,” Danaeyah Marbury wrote. “He left behind 4 daughters and 1 son. He was loved so much by everyone around him. He always had a smile on his face. Me and my family need help laying my father to rest. Anything helps thank you❤️ it was a hit and run.”

Marbury, a 49-year-old tow truck driver, was killed running out of the way of an accident as he responded to a disabled vehicle on southbound I-495 on Monday night. The incident occurred less than a mile north of Route 236 in Fairfax County and it remains under investigation, according to Virginia State Police.

“The Virginia State Police Fairfax Division Crash Reconstruction Team responded to the scene and is assisting with the ongoing crash investigation,” Virginia State Police said in a statement on Thursday. “This is all the information we have at this time.”

Photo via GoFundMe

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A pedestrian was killed this evening by a Virginia Railway Express train behind the Regal Cinemas at Potomac Yard, according to Alexandria Police.

The person died at the scene, and the incident occurred at around 6:30 p.m., according to Alexandria Police spokesman Lieutenant Courtney Ballantine.

It is not clear if the pedestrian was male or female, and their identity and age have not been disclosed. Police are also investigating why the person was on the tracks at that time, and it is not clear who witnessed the incident.

Police also reported that there was no derailment because of the incident.

According to The Washington Post, the train was the southbound VRE train 313 to Fredericksburg, which stops nearby at Crystal City.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Alexandria now has 181 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 11 cases since yesterday.

The first and only death of a city resident due to the virus was announced on April 6, and the Alexandria Health Department did not release any information regarding the resident.

The city is asking residents to donate unused N95 respirator masks, disposable medical gowns, face shields, goggles, disposable medical coveralls, gloves and hand sanitizer. No homemade items are being accepted.

There have been 121 deaths and there are now more than 4,500 cases in Virginia, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

The full breakdown in Alexandria is below the jump:

Read More

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(Updated at 5:45 p.m.) — Alexandria Police have determined that the dead man found in the Potomac River on April 5 was a 51-year-old resident of Washington, D.C.

The body of an adult male, whose identity has not been released, was recovered from the Potomac River by the Alexandria Police and Fire Departments in the 300 block of North Union Street.

The man was not out boating, and no boat was recovered, according to police. It is also not clear if the death was accidental or self-inflicted, and how long the body was in the water.

“He was floating through the river against the rocks on the shore and that’s where he was recovered,” police spokesman Lt. Courtney Ballantine told ALXnow. “There is no threat to the public.”

An autopsy is underway, and the investigation is ongoing, Ballantine said.

Photo via Visit Alexandria/Facebook

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An adult woman is dead after falling off the Seminary Road overpass to Van Dorn Street in the city’s West End, according to Alexandria Police.

Police were notified that the woman fell off the overpass, which does not have a sidewalk, at around 5:15 p.m. She was declared dead at the hospital and her identity has not yet been released.

“It is unknown if this was accidental or if this was intentional,” Alexandria Police spokesman Lt. Courtney Ballantine told ALXnow.

The incident shut down the area of Van Dorn Street and Kenmore Avenue.

Image via Google Maps

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A 77-year-old Fairfax County man was struck and killed by a driver on Duke Street near the Alexandria Commons shopping center over the weekend.

The crash happened around 7:30 a.m. Saturday on Duke Street at Sweeley Street.

Police say Fairfax County resident John Thompson, 77, was crossing in the crosswalk when he was struck. He later died at a local hospital.

The driver remained on the scene and thus far there’s no word on any charges being filed, though police say they’re still investigating the crash. More from an Alexandria Police Department press release:

The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a traffic crash that occurred on Saturday, November 16, in the 3100 block of Duke Street.

At approximately 7:35 a.m., police responded to the area for a pedestrian struck in the intersection of Duke Street and Sweeley Street. Initial investigation indicates Mr. John Thompson, a 77-year-old Fairfax County resident, was crossing Duke Street in the crosswalk when he was struck by a motor vehicle. Mr. Thompson died from his injuries at a local hospital. The driver of the vehicle remained on the scene.

Members of the Crash Reconstruction Team and Criminal Investigations Section are investigating the crash. The investigation is ongoing. Alexandria Police ask that witnesses with information regarding this incident contact Officer Charles Gardiner at 703.408.6375.

Last month a car ran into the front of the Sweetfrog frozen yogurt shop at the Alexandria Commons shopping center.

Photo via Google Maps

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A 64-year-old Alexandria man has died and four others were seriously injured in a crash on the West End this weekend.

The crash happened around 8:15 p.m. Saturday on the 2000 block of North Van Dorn Street, near the Aldi supermarket.

Two SUVs collided head-on, killing Armando Aguirre Membreno, 64. Three adults and one juvenile were injured and brought to a local hospital, where they were listed in stable condition as of Sunday, according to Alexandria police.

A photo from the scene, posted by Fox 5, shows both vehicles with heavy front-end damage. At least two people were reported to be trapped after the crash, requiring extrication by firefighters using heavy rescue equipment.

Police are still investigating the cause of the crash.

“Members of the Crash Reconstruction Team and Criminal Investigations Section are investigating the crash,” APD said in a press release. “The investigation is ongoing. Alexandria Police ask that witnesses with information regarding this incident contact Officer Nancy Gordon at 571.289.6794.”

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