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Alexandria Police are investigating an aggravated assault that occurred in the Landmark area of the West End on Sunday night (April 17).

The 32-year-old victim was did not seek medical attention and there have been no arrests, police said. The incident occurred at around 3 a.m. in the 500 block of S. Van Dorn Street.

Police said that the incident began inside an apartment building and then ended outside.

No suspect information was available, and the investigation is ongoing, according to police.

Anyone with information is urged to call APD Officer Philip Hetzner at 703-746-6809. Callers can remain anonymous.

Via Google Maps

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A DASH bus pulls into Landmark Mall (staff photo by James Cullum)

The Landmark Mall Transit Center will be closed for about a week starting tomorrow (Tuesday) for construction as the facility serving DASH and Metrobus is relocated ahead of the mall’s demolition this spring.

DASH sent out a notice that the transit center would close Tuesday, March 29, for about one week, meaning DASH Line 30, 32 and 35 buses will not stop at Landmark Mall. It wasn’t yet known whether the transit center will reopen at the relocated spot in front of the former Macy’s, or if that relocation would happen at a later date.

Landmark Mall will be demolished ahead of Inova’s construction of a new hospital campus. Inova recently filed concept plans with the city, showing the campus will include a new Level 2 trauma hospital, a cancer center and a specialty care center.

The temporary transfer chart for DASH and Metrobus customers as the Landmark Mall Transit Center ic closed for construction (via DASH)
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The case against a man suspected of killing his West End neighbor in December will go to a grand jury next month.

David Jasante Cunningham has been held without bond in the Alexandria jail since his January 11 arrest on a second-degree murder charge of 23-year-old Melia Jones. Police found Jones dead in her in her apartment in the unit block of South Van Dorn Street on Tuesday, Dec. 7, at around 2:40 p.m.

Her death was the second homicide of 2021.

On March 18, Alexandria General District Court Judge Sonya L. Sacks found probable cause to send the case 40-year-old David Cunningham to the Grand Jury for indictment on April 11.

Police found Jones wrapped in blankets, and that she was sexually assaulted and died by asphyxiation, according to the Washington Post. Cunningham reportedly moved to the City from New York in 2020, and had a job at Coca-Cola Enterprises on Seminary Road.

More information on the charges and penalties Cunningham faces will be released after the April Grand Jury proceeding.

Via Google Maps

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The Alexandria Courthouse (Staff photo by James Cullum)

A 33-year-old Alexandria resident has been indicted on a first-degree murder charge, a more serious charge than he was previously facing, in connection to a stabbing at BJ’s Wholesale Club in the Landmark area.

The indictment, which a Grand Jury returned March 14, charges Rakibul Islam Fakir on the one felony count of first-degree murder, which is punishable by life in prison, according to a news release from the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

On Sept. 25, Alexandria Police responded to the store next to Van Dorn Plaza around 7:45 p.m. and discovered Maryland resident Abiy Zemene, 29, suffering from stab wounds. Zemene died from the injuries.

Police said at the time that Zemene and Fakir knew each other and Fakir remained at the scene until police arrived. He was then arrested without incident and charged with second-degree murder.

He’s being held at William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center without bail as he awaits trial. A trial date has not been set.

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A 39-year-old Alexandria man skipped his court date this week after being charged with brandishing a firearm against his mother.

Linwood Gunter did not show up for court on Tuesday (Feb. 22), and his case is pending. He was arrested on the date of the incident, Feb. 8, and released on $1,000 bond the next day after receiving the brandishing charge.

The incident occurred at around 9:50 p.m. after the woman called 911 to report that her son pointed a gun at her head, according to a police search warrant affidavit. The woman told the dispatcher that she was safely inside a neighbor’s apartment and that her son was alone.

The mother told police that her son argued with a cousin earlier in the day, and that they began to argue. She then told police that he left the room and got a handgun, returned and pointed it at her face and threatened to kill her, according to the search warrant.

“She stated Mr. Gunter pointed the gun at her head and threatened to ‘bust her upside the head with it,'” police reported in the warrant.

During their investigation, Gunter allegedly told police that it was a paintball gun. Police then found a paintball gun under the couch.

Via Google Maps

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A 17-year-old Falls Church male was arrested charged with two counts of felony hit and run after an incident that injured two Alexandria firefighters on the morning of Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) in the Landmark area.

The incident occurred at around 4 a.m. in the 300 block of S. Reynolds Street. The suspect, who was driving a dark-colored sports utility vehicle, was arrested by Fairfax County Police.

He was found slumped behind the wheel of the vehicle in the 6300 block of Little River Turnpike — less than two miles away from where the incident occurred, according to a search warrant.

“While they were loading equipment onto their fire truck, a dark colored vehicle struck two firefighters and part of the truck,” police said in a news release. “The driver of the dark colored vehicle did not stop and sped away from the scene. Both firefighters were treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and were released the same day.”

Alexandria Police found a case of Corona beer on the floor of the passenger’s side seat of the suspect’s car, as well as two open beer bottles in the front cup holders, police said in the search warrant.

The suspect admitted to police that he’d been drinking throughout the evening at his aunt’s house in Fairfax County, and that he drove a friend home in the City, police said in the warrant. He also did not provide police with his friend’s name or address.

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While only in the conceptual phase, the Landmark Overlook development would transform the corner of South Wilkes Street and Stephenson Avenue into a mixed use property with hotels or office buildings, two-level stacked condominium units, apartments and retail. (Image via BCT Design Group)

A development near Landmark Mall was deferred at the applicant’s request after the project was hammered by City Council for its lack of affordable housing and design issues.

Things had been looking positive for West End Associates LLC’s Landmark Overlook project — spread across 5901, 5951, and 5999 Stevenson Avenue and 2 South Whiting Street — as it headed into the City Council on Saturday. The project was approved by the Planning Commission and city staff.

The developers were seeking an amendment to the Landmark-Van Dorn Small Area Plan to change the primary use of the development from office and retail to primarily residential, allowing the developer to increase the proposed floor area ratio and construct new multifamily residential buildings.

But the project faced stern pushback from the City Council on everything from traffic impact to affordable housing. There were areas where the project met the letter of the law but was unsatisfying in ways that, reading between the lines, gave the Council less reason to be lenient in other allowances.

“There’s no affordable housing here, nevertheless they’re giving us money to compensate, but that isn’t the same,” City Council member Redella “Del” Pepper said. “All of these units and not one of them could possibly be affordable housing? Now we can’t ask for that, but it doesn’t mean how disappointed I am that that’s how they’re running it. I haven’t felt that this is a very thoughtfully done plan, frankly.”

There were also concerns from the Council that the city is moving forward with individual Landmark-adjacent plans without having a clear idea of what the city wants the area to look like.

“I think what we have here, and what I’m worried about with anything around Landmark, is that everyone rushes to make their developments pop before we finalize Landmark and the network around Landmark, especially on Duke Street,” said City Council member John Chapman. “We’re talking about something pretty significant. To me, my response would be: why not push some of this work and this development off until after May and we have a better sense of what we’re doing with that area and this intersection? Why are we letting the cart jump before the horse gets rolling?”

The applicant, represented by Kenneth Wire, said the applicant would be happy to convert the dollars into some affordable housing units in the multi-family residential parts of the development.

“I’m requesting a deferral unless I’m completely misreading the six of you,” Wire said.

The City Council approved deferral until the January meeting to allow staff and the developer to put something together more in line with the city’s goals.

“We understand private market interest and profitability, along with businesses coming in and why this might be an advantageous time for them to move forward with all sort of plans, and they have every right to do that under the law,” said City Council member Mo Seifeldein. “We take no issue with that. We want to work with you, but you have to be willing to work with us. We consider your margins and the market, but you have to consider what we do.”

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291 S Van Dorn Street, formerly Little Gym, via Google Maps

A new Ethiopian restaurant is coming to Van Dorn Plaza sometime next year.

Asmare Kebede is planning to open Roha Ethiopian Restaurant at 291 S Van Dorn Street, formerly The Little Gym.

Kebede said he is still in the permit process for the restaurant and estimates it could take up to five or six months. When the restaurant does open, though, Kebede said it will have injera and other traditional Ethiopian dishes, along with wine — if he secures the permit.

Photo via Google Maps

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No injuries were reported after numerous gunshots were reported to Alexandria Police early Thursday night.

Police reported a heavy presence in the 700 block of N. Van Dorn Street at 5:39 p.m.

The incident occurred in a residential area near Holmes Run and Interstate 395.

No reports of arrests were made, and police have not responded to ALXnow’s questions.

Via Google Maps

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A 15-year-old Alexandria male was charged with felonious assault after allegedly stabbing a man twice in the parking lot in the Landmark area of the West End.

The incident occurred Monday, October 11, at around 10 p.m. in the parking lot of 101 S. Whiting Street.

Security footage from a nearby gas station showed the suspect walking toward the apartment complex minutes before the incident, police said in a search warrant affidavit. Surveillance footage from the apartment complex then captured the suspect allegedly walking from car to car and pulling on door handles.

“The first few handles he pulled, the doors did not open and (it) appeared the vehicles were locked,” police said in the affidavit. “Once the subject found an unlocked door, he immediately entered the vehicle and sat in the drivers seat… Approximately 10-15 seconds later, the victim walked up to his vehicle and attempted to open the door.”

The affidavit continued, “At this time, I observed the suspect leap from the vehicle and start a physical altercation with the victim. During this time the victim was attempting to restrain the suspect and hold him until help arrived. Once the suspect was controlled, I observed him strike the victim two times in the shoulder and torso area.”

The victim’s lung was punctured, and one of his arms was stabbed.

“The victim received serious but non-life-threatening injuries as a result of the encounter,” Alexandria Police Captain Chris Wemple III told ALXnow. “Alexandria Police detectives were able to later identify the suspect as a 15-year-old juvenile and charge him with felonious assault.”

On October 16, the suspect’s father listed him as a runaway. He later returned home — nearly two miles away from the scene of the incident — and was interviewed by police on October 28.

Via Google Maps

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