Newsletter

(Updated 5:15 p.m.) Police are currently investigating a shooting that occurred around 3:45 p.m. today (Tuesday) just a few blocks from Alexandria City High School.

According to an alert put out by the Alexandria Police Department, the incident started with a fight involving juveniles at the Bradlee Shopping Center (3600 King Street).

“Officers discovered a juvenile with a gunshot wound to the upper body,” police said. “Victim taken to hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening.”

Witnesses said the shooting started at the McDonalds in the shopping center and went into the Duck Donuts after being shot.

The incident comes after police have been dispatched three times for violent incidents involving juveniles at Alexandria City High School campuses in the area.

James Cullum contributed to this story. Photo via Google Maps

13 Comments

More details have been released on the murder of a 23-year-old man in the West End last year, and the criminal organization the suspect was involved with that was brought down by the Alexandria Police Department.

The victim, Yousef Omar, was found shot multiple times on Saturday, November 7, 2020. He was in the driver’s seat of a 2016 silver Mercedes E350, and a firearm was found near his body, as well as numerous shell casings, indicating that he may have fired at his attacker.

In June, 23-year-old Ahmed Mohammed Shareef, of Cosa Mesta, California, was indicted for Omar’s murder, and was one of 17 people indicted and arrested on charges related to a massive racketeering conspiracy that involved a “complex drug trafficking organization” allegedly responsible for the sale of approximately $500,000 worth of marijuana.

A witness told police that they saw Shareef and Omar driving together, and saw Shareef “exit the vehicle and proceed to shoot the victim multiple times as he sat in the driver’s sear, striking him multiple times,” police said in a search warrant. “The suspect then ran to a waiting vehicle, entering the front passenger seat and fleeing the scene.”

Shareef, wounded by a gunshot, checked himself into Howard University Hospital a half hour after the murder, police said.

Omar was parked across the street from the Newport Village apartment complex near Fort Ward Park, and was pronounced dead shortly after the shooting — at around 3:30 p.m. It was the third and final homicide of the year.

“The investigation also revealed that the likely motive (of the murder) was over an unresolved drug debt and potential interference by the victim to pry customers away from the (drug trafficking organization),” police said.

The investigation of the drug trafficking organization resulted in the arrest of 17 individuals, including Shareef, and seizure of $500,000 worth of marijuana, nearly $275,000 in cash, 23 firearms, cocaine and other drugs, digital scales, money counters, fake identifications and a number of vehicles.

Police found that the suspects’ drug trafficking organization was operational for years, with suspects ferrying marijuana between Los Angeles, California, and airports around Alexandria, in large suitcases on commercial airliners. In many instances, the suspect who checked the baggage in California would not get on flights and the bags, with different names on identification tags, would be picked up by other suspects in Virginia. The marijuana in the luggage was found in vacuum-sealed bags.

“The method included top tier traffickers purchasing flights for individuals and packing large suitcases with other materials to conceal large quantities of marijuana, ensuring that the bag was checked approximately 50 minutes before the flight left and would often be picked up by different individuals at DCA (Washington Reagan International Airport) and IAD (Dulles International) airports in the Commonwealth,” police said.

The investigation, which included multiple law enforcement agencies throughout the region and in Washington State and California, resulted in the seizure of 23 firearms, nearly $275,000 in U.S. currency, as well as cocaine and other controlled substances, digital scales, electronic money counters, fake identifications and multiple vehicles.

Shareef faces life in prison for the murder charge, three years for the firearms charge and up to 40 years for the racketeering charge.

7 Comments

A 29-year-old man was sent to the hospital in serious condition after being shot multiple times in the West End on Saturday night, Alexandria Police reported.

The incident occurred at around 11:45 p.m. at the intersection of N. Beauregard Street and Sanger Avenue, which is near Holmes Run, apartment buildings and the William Ramsay Recreation Center.

No suspect information was released and Alexandria Police did not respond to questions on the incident. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call Detective Stephen Riley at 703-746-622, or APD’s non-emergency police line at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

This is the second shooting since a woman was shot just before midnight in the Landmark area on Monday, June 28. While the woman suffered non-life threatening injuries, Police did not answer any questions on that incident, although on July 2, acting Police Chief Don Hayes visited area homes to talk to residents.

Alexandria Police also responded to a crash in the West End on the early morning of Sunday, July 4. One person was seriously injured, and APD did not respond to any questions on the incident.

Courtesy Google Maps

0 Comments

An adult woman suffered non-life threatening injuries after being shot in the 400 block of S. Reynolds Street in the West End on Monday night.

Alexandria Police tweeted that the incident occurred at around 11 p.m., and that there is no known threat in the area.

The shooting occurred near the intersection of S. Reynolds Street and Edsall Road, which is near S. Van Dorn Street.

Police released no other details, and will not answer any of ALXnow’s questions on the incident.

Courtesy Google Maps

0 Comments

Morning Notes

T.C. Williams High School graduation is this Saturday — “We’re counting down to #Titans2021 Graduation on June 12 by highlighting @tcwtitans seniors every day! Stay tuned to meet our first grad!” [Twitter]

Woman shot and car stolen in Alexandria area of Fairfax County — “A woman was shot and seriously wounded in a carjacking in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County Sunday night in Virginia, and the suspect made off with her Mercedes, police said. Fairfax County police said the carjacking happened just before 10:30 p.m. Sunday in the 3100 block of Franconia Road in Alexandria. That’s near the intersection with Telegraph Road and Jefferson Manor Park.” [WTOP]

City Arts District in Old Town North Takes Public Art to the Streets — “The Alexandria Office of the Arts has turned its attention north to the new City Arts District. A call went out this spring for art proposals to decorate the storm drain covers and surrounding cement aprons at up to 24 locations on the streets of Old Town North. Similar projects in London and San Francisco have been praised by the public.” [Zebra]

Racial equity forum on June 9 and 10 — “ACT for Alexandria will host a virtual IMPACT Racial Equity Forum June 9&10. The event provides an opportunity to learn, connect & commit to an equitable Alexandria. City Leaders will speak at the event. For more information & registration follow link.” [Twitter]

Today’s weather — “Cloudy early. Scattered thunderstorms developing later in the day. High 89F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%… Scattered thunderstorms in the evening, with mostly cloudy skies overnight. Low 71F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Pet sitter — “Passionately Pets, a local In-Home Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Company, is currently hiring exceptional pet sitters and dog walkers to join our wonderful team. This position is fun and rewarding as you get to enjoy the outdoors, get exercise and be loved by amazing local dogs, cats and other companion animals!” [Indeed]

5 Comments

Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown says that he’s on the level about his surprise retirement announcement, and that he and his wife will soon pulling up stakes for the West Coast in the near future to take care of urgent family business.

“This was a personal decision that my wife and I came to manifest in me having to retire,” Brown told ALXnow.

Brown has given a recommendation on who should be the acting chief until a permanent replacement is chosen at the conclusion of a national search. His last day is June 25. Right now he’s worried about summer crime, although says that crime levels are now returning to pre-pandemic levels.

The department is currently dealing with critical staffing issues, namely temporarily filling available street assignments for patrol officers by reassigning other officers.

“We’re meeting our staffing needs on the street,” Brown said. “We’re very concerned about what may happen this summer.”

APD is funded for 311 positions, and effective July 1 the department will have 305 officers on duty. Of those, six are on administrative duties pending the outcome of an investigation after a chase suspect died in D.C., and there are a number of officers on family medical leave and other various reasons, Brown said.

“In order to supplement provide some stability for those temporary shortages, we pulled other officers in to kind of fill the gaps for patrol,” he said. “And that’s normally customary in this business when you have these kinds of situations taking place.”

Brown added, “We’re seeing crime revert back to what was normal, with some minor suggestions to prior to the pandemic. We’re not seeing the same thing in terms of, for example, auto thefts, that we once saw. The shootings are also lower in number than we had last year, especially towards the summer.”

On the bright side, he said, three APD officers who were previously on administrative duties after a shootout in Old Town North have been cleared for duty by Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter. Additionally, APD will be reassigning six officers previously assigned to the School Resource Officer program, which Council eliminated last month.

As for the SROs, Brown said that he supported the program, but would not offer an opinion on Council’s decision.

“I thought there was value in the SRO program,” he said. “But then again, I don’t have the authority to make that decision. My job is to carry out the decision that was made by our elected officials.”

Brown also left six months before being vested in the city’s retirement system, although Brown says it doesn’t bother him and that the decision wasn’t about money. After a 46-year career in law enforcement, this isn’t his first retirement.

“The fact of the matter is, I’ve had several retirements,” he said. “I took this job because I cared about this police department.”

Brown started as a police officer in Los Angeles in 1977, and was the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol from 2004-2008. He was later California’s deputy secretary for public safety from 2008 to 2009, and then for six years was the director of the Office of Impaired Driving and Occupant Protection at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration before being hired as Alexandria’s police chief in 2017.

Brown led the police department through a restructuring, as well as social unrest after the 2020 murder of George Floyd, the COVID-19 pandemic, and an uptick in shooting events and other crime throughout the city. He restructured the department from four to three divisions, and took away deputy chief of police positions and added an assistant chief. He also says that under his leadership the department made strides with its 21st Century Policing effort.

“Some would argue differently, but we became very transparent ,” Brown said. “We put all of our policies, we put all of our reports on use of force on our website so that people could see that information and be critical of it.”

Brown continued, “Policing is never stable. Policing will always change, and it will change based upon events; it will change upon public discourse; it will change because the community, or… the nation at large has other questions, or other expectations… The real challenge for the law enforcement community is to be able to listen and to be able to adapt in order to survive, because if we don’t survive the public will get rid of you.”

Brown’s tenure was punctuated by dramatic events, starting with the Simpson Field Shooting, and culminating with the pandemic and social unrest after the murder of George Floyd. He would later pen an op-ed saying that the video of Floyd’s death appalled him, and he spoke with city leaders to the public and later joined protestors at a demonstration outside police headquarters.

Brown said his laundry list of people to thank is long.

“I admire this department for what it does,” he said. “It’s a good department, filled with great people, and they are out there every day taking care of the citizens, the residents of this city. It was a blessing to have the opportunity to work with them.”

3 Comments

More details have emerged regarding a West End shootout last fall. Four adult males have been arrested in connection with the incident, and ALXnow has discovered that a mother of one of the suspects was shot in the arm and didn’t report it to police.

As previously reported, at around 5 p.m. on September 13, Alexandria Police responded to reports of 10-15 gunshots fired in the 3100 block of S. 28th Street near Ft. Ward Park.

A man was shot in the stomach and another man was also injured while driving with his girlfriend nearby at West Braddock Road and N. Van Dorn Street.

Witnesses told police that the shooting was sparked by a FaceTime argument between the suspects, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Alexandria Police arrested the following suspects, all of whom are being held without bond:

  • Alexandria resident Adham Heiba, 18, who was booked on September 16 for discharging a firearm in public, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and attempted malicious wounding
  • Prince William County resident Jamari Ankrah, 20, who was booked into jail on February 25 without bond for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and resisting arrest
  • Prince William County resident Rashine Dainkay, 18, who was booked into jail on January 26 for distributing or possession with intent to distribute marijuana, distributing or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possession of firearms while in possession of certain substances
  • Alexandria resident Terrell Talley, 19, who was charged with shooting into an occupied dwelling and discharging a firearm in a public place

Ankhrah was allegedly seen shooting at a group of 10-15 people from inside of one of the cars. He was later arrested on Feb. 25, and allegedly attempted to elude police in a foot chase.

“When Mr. Ankrah was arrested he was… in possession of a handgun that was tucked in his waistband,” police reported.

Ankrah then allegedly told police that “he witnessed the offense and that an unknown subject shot at him, which ultimately led to his mother being shot in the arm,” according to police. “Mr. Ankrah stated that they did not report her injury or this offense to police.”

Dainkay was allegedly seen driving from the scene in a black Mercedes. A search of the vehicle later yielded an AK-47 assault rifle, according to police.

Map via Google Maps

2 Comments

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
  • Robbery
  • 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.

Photo via Facebook

4 Comments

Alexandria Police are investigating a report that an object that was thrown at a vehicle just outside the city Courthouse.

The victim, who knows the suspect, called 911 and mistakenly reported that a gun was fired at their vehicle, according to police.

“The victim knew the person who threw something at their vehicle,” Alexandria Police Senior Public Information Officer Amanda Paga told ALXnow. “The victim called initially thinking that whatever it was was loud enough to think that there was something (gunfire).”

Alexandria police initially responded to the incident as a call for shots fired. No one was injured.

Map via Google Maps

5 Comments

Police confirmed last week that roughly one-third of the the shootings last year were connected.

In 2020, Alexandria experienced an increase in shots fired calls with a total of 55 confirmed cases as compared to 37 in 2019. One-third of those occurred last fall, between September and December.

So far this year there have been three confirmed shots fired incidents, with two of them taking place a block apart.

Police said in a press release that they are working with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on the case and have made 20 arrests.

Anyone who hears gunfire is asked to call Alexandria Police Sgt. William Taylor at 703-746-6271. Callers can remain anonymous.

2 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list