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(Updated at 12 p.m., Nov. 14) A man is being held without bond in connection to the stabbing death of a 38-year-old man inside a Del Ray church.

The Alexandria Police Department confirmed that a suspect is in custody, but released few details on the suspected stabbing death of a 38-year-old man in Del Ray on Sunday afternoon.

APD was notified at around 4:25 p.m. that a person was stabbed inside the One God In Christ Apostolic Church (2707 Dewitt Avenue), and the victim died at the scene, according to the police scanner.

At 4:56 p.m., APD said over the scanner that they had the suspect at gunpoint nearly a mile from where the incident occurred, at the Exxon station at the corner of E. Monroe and Mount Vernon Avenues. Police then identified the suspect as Bisrat Shaga.

Shaga, who has no fixed address, was charged with malicious wounding and is being held without bond, according to court records. Shaga has a public defender as an attorney and has his first court appearance on Dec. 19.

This is the seventh homicide of the year in Alexandria.

APD said that anyone with information regarding this incident please contact Detective Matthew Kramarik via phone at 703-746-6650, email at [email protected], at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

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Alexandria Police outside the Exxon gas station at Mount Vernon and E. Monroe Avenues, where the suspect in a stabbing death was arrested, Nov. 12, 2022 (staff photo by James Cullum)

A man was stabbed to death Sunday afternoon in Del Ray, and a suspect is in custody, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

APD was notified at around 4:25 p.m. that a person was stabbed in the 2700 block of Dewitt Avenue near E. Raymond Avenue, according to the police scanner. The suspect was described by police as a Black male with a medium complexion in his mid-30s and wearing a gray pullover sweatshirt and dark pants.

At 4:56 p.m., APD had the suspect at gunpoint nearly a mile from where the incident occurred, at the Exxon station at the corner of E. Monroe and Mount Vernon Avenues. Police said via dispatch, while searching for the suspect, that he is known to frequent Old Town, the Mount Vernon corridor and Potomac Yard.

ALXnow is awaiting more details from APD on the suspect’s identity, as well as the victim’s. More information is expected when the department puts out a press release, an APD spokesman told ALXnow.

This is the seventh homicide of the year in Alexandria.


(Updated at 8:30 p.m.) A 17-year-old former Alexandria City High School student was sentenced Thursday to five years with the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice for the 2022 murder of 18-year-old Luis Mejia Hernandez in the parking lot of the Bradlee Shopping Center, with one of those years already served.

Ryan Vega was 16 when he fatally stabbed Hernandez during a melee with dozens of ACHS students in the parking lot. In a two-day June bench trial, Judge James C. Clark found Vega guilty of second-degree murder and murder by mob, and said that Vega took advantage of his time behind bars at the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center by exhibiting good behavior and doing well with school.

“It appears to your credit, Mr. Vega, that you have taken advantage of your time,” Clark said before announcing the sentence. “In making this decision, I cannot ignore the harm of your actions. If I thought a life sentence would bring Luis back, I’d do it.”

Clark sentenced Vega to remain in the juvenile detention center until he is 21, in addition to 10 years suspended with the Virginia Department of Corrections and five years of supervised probation. He’s already been in jail for 17 months, putting the total sentence for the homicide at approximately five years behind bars by the time he is released.

He must also continue behavioral therapy and have no contact with the victim’s family.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney David Lord asked Clark for a 30-year sentence in an adult prison, with 10 years suspended. Lord said Vega was addicted to fentanyl at the time of the incident and was part of a disturbing trend of young people living on the edge.

“Part of justice involves answering that pain by the imposing of justice by this court,” Lord said in his closing argument.

Vega, who wore black sneakers, dark slacks and a gray sweater on top of a blue button-up shirt, kept his head down as he read a statement to the court. He said that the events of May 24, 2022 never stop running through his head and that he wishes he could turn back the clock.

“I am deeply and terribly sorry for the pain and loss I have caused your family,” Vega said, after being admitted to address the victim’s family. “Please know I will always pray for your family and Luis until my final breath.”

Vega said in another statement to the court that he spent sleepless nights staring at the ceiling of the juvenile detention center and that he was “remorseful beyond comprehension.” His attorneys Sebastian Norton and Sean Sherlock said that he wrote letters to Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson asking for more books in the detention center, and that he has distinguished himself as a leader behind bars.

Osmin Mejia Romero, the victim’s father, was upset by the sentence.

“This sentence is nothing,” Mejia Romero said. “It’s not a good situation. I wanted him in jail for 30 years, and I waited more than a year for this. His apology means nothing. He’s a liar.”

Mayor Wilson said he never saw a letter from Vega and that the Commonwealth’s requested sentence seemed appropriate.

“I did not review the evidence or sit through the trial, but based on my knowledge of the case, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s requested sentence certainly seemed a lot more appropriate to me.”

The stabbing occurred during a brawl between two rival gangs of Alexandria City High School teenagers on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 — a week before graduation on a half-day while students took their Virginia Standards of Learning tests. The fight was over within one minute, and Mejia Hernandez was fatally stabbed in the heart. An autopsy showed that he also had abrasions to his neck, chin, the back of his hands, abdomen and knees, according to court records. The cause of death was a 7/8-inch stab wound to the chest.

Hernandez was given a posthumous diploma at graduation a week later.

Clark said that Vega was likely experiencing opioid withdrawal at the time of the incident.

“I just can’t help observe the defendant’s decision to start using drugs,” he said. “It likely was a significant factor in forming his judgment to be at Bradlee.”

The murder was one of several incidents that resulted in a number of new policies and security enhancements in and around Alexandria City High School, including a metal detector program, increased police patrols in the area, as well as a rule prohibiting kids from frequenting the shopping center during school hours.

Sherlock said that he is thankful for Clark’s “wise” decision.

“We are incredibly remorseful to the family of Luis Hernandez,” Sherlock said. “We’re very thankful for the wisdom of the court and Judge Clark in imposing this sentence, fully taking into account the seriousness of what happened on May 24, while balancing that appropriately with the goals of sentencing and the capabilities of rehabilitation for juveniles.”


A felonious assault charge from an incident on Monday night has turned to a second-degree murder charge after the victim died today.

Ricky Dehate, 48, is charged with second-degree murder.

On Monday, police said the victim sustained minor injuries from a robbery on the 2500 block of North Van Dorn Street, but the victim died at the hospital today (Wednesday).

According to police:

On Monday, September 11, at approximately 11:22 p.m., officers responded to a call reporting a fight in the 2500 block of North Van Dorn Street. Upon arriving to the scene, officers found one victim who was transported to a local hospital with injuries. The victim died on September 13, 2023. The suspect, Ricky Dehate, 48, was charged with felonious assault the night of the incident and has been charged with second-degree murder today, September 13.

This is the sixth homicide of the year in the City of Alexandria.

Anyone with information related to the case can reach Detective Christine Escobar at 703 746 6819 or via email at [email protected].

The scene of a shooting on the 800 block of W. Glebe Road (staff photo by James Cullum)

The Alexandria Police Department (APD) announced tonight that they’ve made an arrest for the fatal shooting in Arlandria in July.

APD said 26-year old Rae’Qwan McClinnahan, a non-city resident, has been charged with second degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a murder.

On July 24, 29-year-old father of two Eric Holmes Jr. was fatally shot on the 800 block of W. Glebe Road.

McClinnahan is currently being held without bond, according to APD.

The scene of a shooting on the 800 block of W. Glebe Road (staff photo by James Cullum)

It’s been a scorching week in Alexandria, punctuated by two major crime events.

Someone was shot multiple times in an alley several blocks east of the Braddock Metro station last Saturday, followed on Monday afternoon by the city’s fifth homicide this year — the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man on W. Glebe Road in Arlandria.

It is not believed that the incidents are connected.

The Alexandria Police Department is now looking for a silver Nissan Rogue allegedly linked to Monday’s shooting.

No arrests have been announced from either incident, and this week Mayor Justin Wilson, City Manager Jim Parajon and Police Chief Don Hayes asked for the community’s help in identifying the suspects.

Top stories this week:

  1. Alexandria ditching ‘pay and display’ parking meters citywide (32618 views)
  2. Notes: Many federal employees who report to work Alexandria are still mostly remote (7448 views)
  3. Del Ray Gateway project construction to start before end of year, city says (6510 views)
  4. Construction suspended for Holiday Inn Express at former Towne Motel site in Old Town North (5346 views)
  5. ACPS ignores Gov. Youngkin’s recommended policies on treatment of transgender students (4829 views)
  6. DEVELOPING: Man transported to hospital in critical condition after shooting in Arlandria (4747 views)
  7. Pupatella Neapolitan Pizza opening before end of year in Old Town North, owner says (3857 views)
  8. Duke Street affordable apartment complex ‘Witter Place’ could be ready by late 2025, developer says (3598 views)
  9. Arlington man busted for allegedly selling stolen car to Alexandria man on Facebook Marketplace (2509 views)

Have a safe weekend!


After more than 40 years as a cold case, charges were brought against a 63-year-old Maryland man for the rape and murder of a woman with strong ties to Alexandria.

Vickie Lynn Belk was 28 years old when she was found murdered in Charles County, Maryland, on August 29, 1979. The mother of a seven-year-old boy was raped and fatally shot and her case lingered for decades until last November, when a DNA match was made with 63-year-old Andre Taylor, who lived four miles from where Belk’s body was recovered at the time of her death.

“Nearly 44-years ago, our family lost Vickie Lynn Belk, a beloved mother, sister and friend to a tragic and heinous crime,” said Kay Belk, Vickie’s sister. “The news of the grand jury returning an indictment for the individual responsible for Vickie’s death and an arrest in her murder begins the long-awaited process of justice finally being served. We are grateful for the tireless efforts of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office detectives and the forensics personnel who never ceased seeking justice on Vickie’s behalf. And we extend our thanks to the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office for their commitment and prosecution of Vickie’s case.”

Taylor was arrested last month and is being held without bond in the Charles County Detention Center. He was charged with rape and first-degree murder. When arrested, he was living in failing health in a D.C. nursing and rehabilitation facility, according to The Washington Post. He is being defended by the Maryland Public Defender’s office.

Belk grew up in Alexandria and was a 1969 T.C. Williams High School graduate and member of Oakland Baptist Church on King Street. She got an education degree from St. Augustine College in Raleigh, North Carolina, and at the time of her death was a management analyst with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Vickie Lynn Belk Scholarship Foundation in Alexandria has awarded approximately 100 scholarships since being founded in her honor.

Images via Charles County SHeriff’s Office

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Police car lights (file photo)

A 22-year-old Maryland man has been charged with the murders of an Alexandria man in 2022 and a Bristow man in 2021, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

On July 10, police arrested Corde Fitzhugh-Clingman, of Hyattsville, and charged him with two counts of first degree murder while armed for the 2022 death of 26-year-old Zekariya Elmi, of Alexandria, and the 2021 death of 24 year-old Muntsier Sharfi, of Bristow.

MPD offered $25,000 rewards for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in both cases. After his arrest, no information on how Fitzhugh-Clingman allegedly committed the incidents was released by police. Court documents related to his case in D.C. Courts are sealed and no court date has been set.

Elmi was shot in the 5000 block of South Dakota Avenue, Northeast, at around 11:30 p.m. on Monday, April 25, 2022. He reportedly crashed his car into a utility pole after the incident and he later died at the hospital.

Sarfi, a football player and 2020 graduate of the University of Virginia College at Wise, was found shot to death at around 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 8, 2021, in an overturned vehicle in the 3300 block of Southern Avenue, Southeast. Police found that he was shot a block away in the 3300 block of Eerie Street, Southeast.

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Police car lights (file photo)

Alexandria resident Nasrat Ahmad Yar, 31, was murdered on Monday in D.C. and a reward is being offered for information related to the crime, Patch reported.

D.C. police are investigating Yar’s homicide on Monday, July 3, on the 400 block of 11th Street NE.

“At approximately 12:08 am, First District officers responded to the listed location for the report of an unconscious person,” D.C. police said in a release. “Upon arrival, officers located an adult male shooting victim inside of a vehicle. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and transported the victim to an area hospital for treatment. After all life-saving efforts failed, the victim was pronounced dead.”

D.C. police offers a reward of up to $25,000 for anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction of someone responsible for a homicide in D.C.

“Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at 202-727-9099,” the release said. “Additionally, anonymous information may be submitted to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE by sending a text message to 50411.”

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The 2022 assault of a 38-year-old man in the West End is being considered a murder after the victim died earlier this year, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

Maurio Bailey was assaulted in the 5400 block of N. Morgan Street on Nov. 28, 2022, and died on Jan. 2, 2023. The incident occurred at an apartment complex near Holmes Run.

“The Medical Examiner’s Office recently determined the cause of death, as a death stemming from physical injuries,” APD said in a release on June 30.

APD is now asking witnesses to come forward by contacting Detective Matthew Kramarik at 703-746-6650 or [email protected]. Witnesses can also call the APD non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

Image via Google Maps


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