A 50-year-old Alexandria man is being held without bond in the city jail for allegedly firing a bullet that struck the door of a 7-Eleven near the Braddock Road Metro station.
Melvin Farmer was booked into jail on April 15 — three days after the incident — and charged with attempted malicious wounding and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. He was previously convicted of six felonies, including breaking and entering, malicious wounding and being a fugitive from justice.
No one was injured in the incident, which occurred at around 8:30 p.m. at the 7-Eleven at 421 E. Braddock Road, which is next door to Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap and across the street from George Washington Middle School.
Security footage from a nearby surveillance camera captured Farmer allegedly urinating on the side of the building, and then walk into the store. Farmer then “appears to get into an argument with another known subject near the register of the 7-Eleven and continue to argue outside of the store,” according to a police search warrant affidavit.
Farmer is then seen walking back to his silver minivan to retrieve a handgun, according to police.
“The other male is seen walking and then running while Farmer proceeds to raise his right hand in what appears to be a shooting motion,” police reported. “An ashtray portion of a trash can is seen jumping from its resting location.”
Police said that Farmer then entered the store with what appeared to be a gun in his right hand, and that he quickly looked around and walked out. He was then seen getting into his minivan and driving away.
Police recovered a shell casing near where Farmer’s minivan was parked, and a lead slug near the trash can.
Farmer was arrested at the Best Western in Springfield, and was scheduled to check out of his room on April 16, according to police. He goes to court for the incident on May 18.
A man was robbed at gunpoint in a residential area of the West End on Tuesday night, according to Alexandria Police.
Police tweeted that at around 11:20 p.m., the victim was walking in the 200 block of Century Place when he was approached by a suspect, who displayed a handgun.
The suspect allegedly stole personal items and the victim was not injured.
No suspect description was provided.
NOTIFICATION:: APD is investigating a robbery in the 200 blk of Century Pl. Prelim info: Around 11:20pm, suspect approached the victim (Hispanic male in his 20s), showed a weapon, stole personal items & ran away. No injuries. Expect police activity in the area. Updates as needed.
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) April 28, 2021
A 20-year-old Alexandria man faces life in prison plus 13 years for five felonies, including the murder of 47-year-old John Pope last fall in the West End.
Pope was shot to death on Sept. 30 at his home in the 5900 block of Quantrell Avenue in the Mayflower Square apartment complex. He later died at the hospital. It was the second murder (of three) that occurred in Alexandria last year.
Tavon Lanier, who was 19 at the time the incident occurred, was indicted with:
- First degree murder
- Use of a firearm in commission of murder
- Use of a firearm in the commission of a robbery
- Illegal possession of a firearm
“Alexandria Police responded to the apartment and found John Pope, a 47-year-old Alexandria resident, lying on the floor with an apparent gunshot wound to the abdomen,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter’s office said in a statement. “First Degree Murder and Robbery are both punishable by life in prison. The two Use of a Firearm charges carry a maximum penalty of 8 years in prison. The Illegal Possession of a Firearm charge carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison. Therefore, the maximum total sentence in this matter is life in prison plus 13 years.”
A trial date has not been set.
As previously reported, Lanier was released on bond just eight days before Pope was killed. He was arrested on Sept. 22 for for allegedly breaking into his girlfriend’s apartment, stalking and threatening her and was released on bond by the magistrate’s office.
Lanier was convicted of identify theft in 2019, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to 60 days in jail with 55 days suspended.
A video has surfaced of 35-year-old chase suspect Anthony Louis of northeast D.C. after he jumped off an over pass while allegedly eluding police.
In the video, an observer is heard telling officers to be careful with Louis, who died after falling and getting tased by an arresting officer.
Louis is seen twitching on the ground, and then an officer pulls on his limp arm and drags him a short distance.
Louis later died on the way to the hospital.
Louis’ family are seeking answers, according to NBC4.
Six Alexandria Police officers have been placed on administrative duties as an internal review continues. U.S. Park Police officers also assisted in the arrest and have reportedly been placed on administrative duties.
Three other suspects were arrested in the incident, which began after shots were fired in the 800 block of North Patrick Street at around 8:40 p.m. last Tuesday night.
Police chased the alleged suspects, and Louis, who was reportedly driving the getaway car crashed on Interstate 295 before jumping.
A GoFundMe campaign has been started to raise money for Louis’ family. It has raised about $1,200.
The Metropolitan Police Department is conducting the death investigation.
Warning: The below video contains sensitive content.
More details have emerged after a West End robbery at gunpoint that left three men beaten and tied up with phone charging cords.
The incident was reported at around 11:30 p.m. on March 19 at an apartment in the 5000 block of Seminary Road. Police also reported that one of the victims’ cars was stolen.
One victim told police that there was a knock on the apartment door, and he blacked out after being pistol-whipped as soon as it opened.
The resident of the apartment told police that he fell asleep on his bed and woke to find an unknown suspect with their hand over his mouth. The victim said that two of his friends were also in the apartment at the time, and that four masked men entered and held them at gunpoint, according to a police search warrant affidavit.
The resident told police that one of the suspects reached into his pockets, took his wallet and stole $8,000.
The third victim told police that he, too, was pistol-whipped and regained consciousness as his friends untied his bonds. He told police that $500 was stolen and that he had no idea why they were targeted.
A fight between teenagers in a West End apartment building last month could have turned deadly after a gun was pointed at a 13-year-old girl.
The girl was not seriously injured, but was “visibly shaken” when police responded to the 1400 block of N. Beauregard Street at around 5 p.m. on Feb. 23. Police said that her hair was messy as if she’d been in a fight and that makeup was running down her face as if she’d been crying.
The girl reported that she was on the phone in the laundry room of her building when there was a knock at the door. She opened it and saw an underage girl she knows and five-to-six juvenile males standing behind her. The victim said that the underage girl pushed her to the ground and started kicking and possibly punching her, according to a police search warrant affidavit.
In the process, the victim lost her rose-colored iPhone 12 Pro, and ran after the suspects after realizing it was missing. It was in the parking lot of the building that the suspects “piled” into black sedan, according to police. That car, a black Kia, was reported stolen from Prince William County.
“One of the juvenile males, trying to prevent the victim from getting to the vehicle, began to block her path and push her aside,” police said in the search warrant. “Another juvenile who had already gotten into the vehicle brandished a firearm at the victim. He told her to stop chasing them or he would shoot her.”
The victim was able to provide police with the descriptions of three suspects. Four juveniles were found a mile away in the 400 block of N. Armistead Street, and they ran inside an apartment building when police approached.
Police arrested a 13-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy, and two 17-year-old boys, although one of them could not be identified in a lineup by the victim and was released. The victim’s iPhone ended up falling out of one of the 17-year-old boys’ pockets when he was being put in the cruiser, and he reportedly admitted that it was not his phone. One of the suspects also reportedly told police that he previously tried to sell the victim a handgun.
Alexandria Police did not otherwise comment on the incident or the suspects since they are minors and the incident did not result in death.
An 18-year-old Fairfax County man is under investigation for firing gunshots in the West End, and soon faces a series of court appearances on gun-and-driving-related charges.
At around 11 p.m. on November 27, gunfire was heard coming from the front-facing front floor balcony of a home in the 5400 block of Richenbacher Avenue, which is near Holmes Run and about a mile away from Inova Alexandria Hospital.
Witnesses told police that they heard three gunshots in rapid succession followed by two single shots a short time later, according to a search warrant affidavit. A woman told police that she heard eight gunshots, and a man reported also hearing gunshots the night before. Another man who was interviewed saw three young men run from the area of the neighborhood playground. It was near there on the ground floor balcony of a home that police found three shell casings and blood droplets.
The suspect was arrested after being pulled over in the 3600 block of Russell Road by an Alexandria Police detective on Dec. 1. Under the driver’s seat police found a 40 caliber handgun loaded with two Speer 40 Smith and Wesson bullets.
“It should be noted that the shell casing recovered from the scene of the crime (were) also Speer 40 Smith and Wesson,” the affidavit said.
The suspect was arrested and was released on bond that same day. He goes to court this and next month for a concealed carry violation, possession of a firearm in a school zone, driving without a license and driving with tinted windows.
There was a 49% increase in shots fired calls for service in 2020 over 2019. In January, APD released figures showing 57 incidents in 2020 versus the 37 incidents the previous year.
NOTIFICATION :: The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a “shots fired” call for service in the 5400 block of Richenbacher Avenue. Expect police activity in the area.
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) November 28, 2020
What an eventful week in Alexandria.
Thursday, March 11, marked the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic in Alexandria. As the vaccine rollout slowly improves, the most recent news is the allowance of restaurant workers to get the vaccine. Just over 38,000 doses have been administered in the city, and of that 14,661 residents have been fully vaccinated. The city also wants 80% of residents vaccinated by July 31.
Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne also announced that he will not seek reelection this fall, bringing an end to his 43-year law enforcement career. Lawhorne’s protege Sean Casey is now running for the seat in the June 8 Democratic primary.
Criticism against the proposed renovation of the Taylor Run Stream continued this week, and even City Councilwoman Amy Jackson has decided to join residents in opposition.
More than 220 people participated in our poll this week on school resource officers. More than half of respondents said that ACPS should hire more SROs, 30% said the program should be eliminated and 11% believe SROs should only work part time.
In case you missed them, here are some other important stories:
- Child Safe After Being Left in Car That Was Briefly Stolen in Arlandria
- Alexandria Takes Stock of Millions in Lost Sales Tax Revenue
- Beyer Throws Weight Behind Labor Unions as Council Punts Collective Bargaining Debate
- Civic Activist Bill Rossello Focusing on Overhauling City Government in City Council Campaign
- ‘Groundswell’ Art Installation Pays Homage to History, Coming to Waterfront Park this Mont
Our top stories this week:
- Inova to Launch New Vaccine Clinic Inside Revamped Victory Center
- Battle Royale: Princess Street Development Duel Returns to City This Month
- Just In: Captain Sean Casey is Running for Alexandria Sheriff
- Alexandria Police Arrest Seven People and Seize Drugs, Guns and Cash
- Development Questions Remain for New Braddock West Project Headed to City Council
- City Could Help Turn Hotels Emptied by Coronavirus Into Affordable Housing
- Just Listed in Alexandria
- Do You Like the Suggested Names for T.C. Williams and Matthew Maury?
- A Year Late, Contractor Eyes Spring Completion for King Street Metro Access Improvement Project
- Superintendent Proposes New Names for T.C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary
- Councilwoman Amy Jackson Argues With School Board Over MacArthur Elementary Construction Schedule
Have a safe weekend!
Alexandria Police arrested seven people and seized $158,000 in cash, guns and drugs last week, as part of an ongoing investigation that resulted in eight search warrants being executed in the region.
Police would not reveal the identities of the suspects arrested or any further details, and only listed what was seized in a Friday press release. Seized items included:
- U.S. currency totaling $157,997
- 27 pounds of marijuana
- 11 firearms (including three semi-automatic rifles)
- Drug-packaging materials
- Prescription pills
- Cell phones and computers
- Two money counters
- 16 grams of suspected cocaine
“We want to commend the excellent planning, execution and police work of everyone involved,” said Police Chief Michael L. Brown. “This is just one example of the Alexandria Police Department working to ensure the safety of our City and community.”
ALERT:: The Alexandria Police Department executed 8 search warrants on Thursday morning, successfully taking guns, money and drugs off the streets. Read more here: https://t.co/eDkinkDF8Z
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) March 5, 2021
Alexandria Police are working with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on investigating the steep uptick in gunfire incidents that have wounded city residents and terrorized communities.
There was a 49% increase in shots fired calls for service in 2020 over 2019. Over the weekend, APD released figures showing 57 incidents in 2020 versus the 37 incidents the previous year.
APD reported arresting 20 individuals, recovering 17 guns and other evidence connected to the 2020 incidents, in addition to executing 90 search warrants. November and September tied with 11 reported shots fired incidents last year, while the most peaceful months were December and February with two respective cases.
“We remain very concerned about the recent increase in firearm-related incidents in the City,” Mayor Justin Wilson told ALXnow. “Our Police Department is working aggressively to get the criminals and the weapons that are placing our community at risk off our streets. I’m pleased to see they have engaged our Federal partners to end these dangerous incidents.”
There have been two incidents of gunfire this month.
Police Chief Michael L. Brown will update City Council on the incidents at tomorrow’s (Tuesday) meeting.
“We are following every lead and working tirelessly to disrupt this criminal activity,” said Brown said in a statement. “We want to assure our community that this remains a top priority for the Police Department.”
“To avoid jeopardizing the active investigations into these incidents, the Police Department cannot release additional details to the public at this time,” police reported.
Anyone who hears gunfire is asked to call Alexandria Police Sgt. William Taylor at 703-746-6271. Callers can remain anonymous.
Alexandria Police Department Actively Investigates Spike In “Shots Fired” Incidents In Final Quarter of 2020: https://t.co/HUuoLk4MAP
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) January 9, 2021