What an intense week in Alexandria.
Our top story was on the massive power outages that affected tens of thousands of residents on Friday, October 23. Without providing specifics, Dominion Energy told City Council this week that outages in Alexandria and Arlington were “unique,” and caused by a piece of equipment that failed at its Glebe Road substation. City Councilors responded that there have been at least eight outages since May.
Monday started with news that an Alexandria Police officer was shot in Old Town and that the 27-year-old suspect was found shot to death near a construction site.
Police were called to the Holiday Inn & Suites in Old Town North after reports that shots were fired in the lobby of the hotel. Police chased two suspects on foot and a shootout ensued. The officer was shot in the lower body and was later released, and the other suspect later turned himself in to police.
On the coronavirus front, there are now 74 deaths in Alexandria and there are now or have been more than 4,200 cases since the pandemic began in March. Latino residents continue to lead the case count. This week the Alexandria Health Department reported that majority of recent coronavirus cases in Alexandria might be the result of contacts at home, indoor gatherings and eating out.
Restaurant-wise, we reported the soft opening of a new chicken joint in North Old Town.
Additionally, the Wrought, Knit, Labors, Legacies art installation at Waterfront Park will be taken down next month at Waterfront Park, and the installation will temporarily be moved outside of Old Town Pool (1609 Cameron Street).
We also reported that more than 50% of Alexandria voters have already cast their ballots.
Additionally, more than 240 people participated in our weekly poll. With Halloween on Saturday, this week we asked about trick-or-treating plans, and 38% of respondents are not celebrating Halloween this year, 31% are not trick-or-treating but have other plans, 17% plan to trick-or-treat with modifications, and 14% plan to trick-or-treat as usual.
Here are ALXnow’s top stories of the week in Alexandria:
- BREAKING: Massive Power Outage Reported in Alexandria
- BREAKING: Virginia State Police Seek Alexandria Man After Police Shootout
- School Board Shelves Plan to Reopen Schools in 2021, Students with Disabilities Transitioning Back Next Month
- Republican Jeff Jordan Running Uphill Battle Against Incumbent Rep. Don Beyer
- Here’s Where Alexandria Residents Might be Getting COVID-19
- BREAKING: Shooting Suspect In Custody, Police Announce
- Police: Man Killed in Car Crash on N. Van Dorn Street
- Identity Released of Old Town North Suspect Killed in Shootout
- Police: Shots Fired in Braddock Area on Monday Night
- The Chewish Deli Opens New Location in Old Town
- Police Assist Man With Psychotic Episode in West End
The man wanted in connection to a series of shootings in North Old Town early Monday morning is now in custody.
Virginia State Police say Mitchell D. Thompson, a 26-year-old Alexandria resident, turned himself in.
“He is in police custody and being processed on the felony warrant for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,” said VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller. “Additional charges are pending, as the investigation remains ongoing at this time.”
State police released additional information Monday night about incidents that led authorities to urge residents to lock themselves in their homes and eventually resulted in a shootout in which one suspect died.
The series of events started with an armed robbery at the Holiday Inn on First Street around 5 a.m. Almost an hour later, two suspects, including Thompson, were spotted, ran from police, and engaged in a shootout during which an officer was shot, VSP said. Just before 6:30 a.m., following a K9 search, one of the suspects was located and a second shootout between the suspect and police ensued, after which the suspect was found dead.
More from a state police press release:
The incident began Monday at approximately 5:01 a.m. when the Alexandria Police Department received a 911 call for shots being fired at a hotel in the 600 block of First Street in Old Town Alexandria. As officers were responding to the scene, two individuals involved in the shooting had fled the hotel on foot. A perimeter was immediately established and search efforts were underway. Further investigation at the hotel determined that an armed robbery had taken place inside the hotel. No one inside the hotel was injured.
At approximately 5:50 a.m., an Alexandria Police Officer located two suspects – one of them Thompson – and a foot pursuit was initiated. When the officer and the two adult males reached the intersection of North Royal Street and Second Street, the officer and one of the two suspects exchanged fire. The officer was shot and both suspects fled the scene again on foot. The officer has been treated and released for non-life threatening injuries sustained in the shooting.
The search perimeter was expanded and police K9 teams located, at approximately 6:24 a.m., one of the suspects near the intersection of Montgomery Street and North Fairfax Street. As Alexandria police officers engaged with the adult male suspect, shots were fired by both the suspect and officers on scene. The male suspect died at the scene. A stolen firearm was recovered in the male suspect’s possession. No law enforcement at this location were injured.
The man’s remains have been transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Manassas for examination and autopsy. Next of kin notification is still pending.
The investigation remains ongoing at this time into all three incidents by state police, with the assistance of the Alexandria Police Department and the ATF.
With vehicle thefts on the rise, Alexandria Police are investigating a violent carjacking in the West End that injured two men and led to a car chase and crash in Fairfax County.
The incident occurred on July 25 around 5 p.m. Two men parked their cars at their homes in the 300 block of South Whiting Street. The two cars, a black 2014 Toyota Camry and a black 2012 Chevrolet Impala were parked at S. Whiting Street (facing Stevenson Avenue) and their owners were unloading them. The engines were left running with the keys inside and were unlocked, according to police.
Two men in face masks then approached them. One of the men pointed a gun at one of the victims and asked that they give him money, according to a search warrant affidavit.
The second suspect also had a gun and asked for money from the other victim “several times before striking him in the face with the grip and magazine well of the gun” before taking his cell phone, according to police.
The suspects then drove away in both cars.
The Camry was recovered the next day after a chase with Virginia State Police in Clifton that ended with it crashing and two male suspects fleeing the scene on foot. The female driver was taken into custody and later interviewed at the hospital by police.
According to the affidavit, the driver told police that she drove because she was nervous letting her two companions get behind the wheel. She also said that the trio were driving to the beach. The investigating officer then asked her about the gun and she “stated she wanted an attorney and the interview was terminated.”
Inside the Camry, police found a Glock handgun and several wallets. One of them had an identification belonging to the victim of another carjacking that occurred approximately the week before in the city “with similar suspect descriptions,” notes the affidavit.
On July 30, there was also a violent carjacking in Old Town. A man was approached by three men who asked for a ride. When he refused, the man was beaten unconscious and woke up in the hospital.
Alexandria Police would not respond to questions regarding this incident. It is not clear if the Impala has been recovered.
Earlier this month, Mayor Justin Wilson appealed to the public for help in lowering a rising trend in vehicle-related thefts. As of August 11, there have been 179 vehicle thefts, which is an increase of 34 over last year. There have also been 379 thefts from vehicles, which is an increase in 69 events over 2019.
Map via Google Maps
Virginia State Police have issued a senior alert for a missing 81-year-old man suffering from a cognitive impairment last seen in the Hybla Valley area next to Alexandria on August 24 at around 7:00 a.m.
Jose Rodriguez is described as five-foot-nine, weighs 190 pounds and was last seen walking north on Davis Street.
He is possibly wearing a long sleeve black collared shirt, pleated black dress pants and black dress shoes, according to police.
“The missing senior suffers from a cognitive impairment and the disappearance poses a credible threat to his heath and safety,” according to Virginia State Police.
Anyone who sees Rodriguez is asked to contact the Fairfax County Police Department at 703-691-2131.
The Alexandria Sheriff’s Office and Police Department released a statement yesterday supporting a new state law requiring law enforcement officials to ask drivers racial information during all traffic stops.
The Virginia Community Policing Act went into effect on July 1 and requires all state and local law enforcement officials to ask drivers their race, ethnicity, age and gender — in addition to tracking why the individual was stopped and if they were searched, arrested or given a warning.
“The law also explicitly prohibits law enforcement officers from engaging in bias-based profiling, defined as actions based solely on the real or perceived race, ethnicity, age, gender, or other noncriminal characteristics of an individual,” according to the city, which says that the police already collect this information. “Statewide data will be analyzed to determine the prevalence of bias-based profiling and complaints alleging the use of excessive force.”
The city is currently developing a plan for a community police review board, and the process has been criticized by groups as being too insular. Activists in the city are also calling on greater data transparency over arrests and other confrontations, as 54% of all arrests last year in the city were of Black men.
Staff photo by Vernon Miles
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
A 49-year-old Alexandria tow truck driver was killed on Monday night as he responded to a disabled vehicle on Interstate 495, according to Virginia State Police.
Derrick A. Marbury was responding to a disabled vehicle on I-495 southbound when a 2015 Ford Edge was rear-ended by a 2013 Honda Pilot. The Honda went off the road and hit the tow truck, and Marbury reportedly ran out of the way and was struck and killed by a 2015 Mercedes-Benz M35.
“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. “This is all the information we have at this time.”
The incident occurred less than a mile north of Route 236 in Fairfax County, according to police.
Virginia State Police have arrested a Danville teen and charged him with obstruction of justice and as an accessory after the fact in the deaths of two people, including an Alexandria resident. last month in Southern Virginia.
The 17-year-old was arrested on Thursday, March 12, by officers with the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office.
This is the second arrest in connection with the murder of Ntombo Joel Bianda, 21, of Alexandria, and Ayanna Munne Maertens Griffin, 19, of Germantown, Maryland. The couple were found shot dead near their crashed car on Feb. 8 along Route 58 in Halifax County.
Mohamed A. Aly, an 18-year-old senior at T.C. Williams High School, was arrested at school last month and charged with committing the murders. The former varsity football player is currently being held in the Blue Ridge Regional Jail in Halifax.
The murders are being investigated by the Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney, FBI Richmond Field Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Danville Police Department.
The full press release from Virginia State Police is below.
As the investigation continues into February’s double homicide in Halifax County, a second individual now faces charges related to the case. On Thursday (March 12, 2020), the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office took a 17-year-old Danville, Va. male into custody. The juvenile has been charged in Halifax County with one count of obstruction of justice and one count of accessory after the fact.
The juvenile petitions are in relation to the Feb. 8, 2020 murders of two individuals on Route 58 in Halifax County near Melon Road. At 2:51 a.m., a silver 2009 Nissan Maxima was located in the median with Ntombo Joel Bianda, 21, of Alexandria, Va., and Ayanna Munne Maertens Griffin, 19, of Germantown, Md., found deceased and lying in the grass nearby. Both had suffered gunshot wounds.
On Feb. 13, 2020, state police arrested Mohamed A. Aly, 18, of Alexandria, Va., on two counts of first degree murder and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of felony. Aly is still being held at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail in Halifax, Va.
State police continues to work with the Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney, FBI Richmond Field Office, ATF, Danville Police Department, and several local law enforcement agencies on the homicide investigation.
As the investigation remains ongoing at this time, the Virginia State Police is still encouraging anyone with information about this incident or individuals involved to contact us at 434-352-7128 or #77 on a cell phone or to email [email protected]. Anonymous calls are welcome.
Questions About Homicide Arrest at T.C. — “Because Aly’s arrest was part of an ongoing criminal investigation, Virginia State Police, the lead law enforcement agency on the case, haven’t released details about his connection to the crime. But some parents and students have sought answers to different questions: Why did the arrest take place at school, and what happened at the school that day?” [Alexandria Times]
Rec Registration Starts Next Week — “Registration for spring and summer classes and activities offered by the City of Alexandria’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18 for City residents and Friday, March 20 for nonresidents. Spring and summer registration applies to classes, leagues and activities occurring April through August 2020.” [City of Alexandria]
Controlled Burn Leads to Hazy Sunday — Across much of the D.C. area Sunday afternoon, smoke from a controlled burn at Marine Corps Base Quantico led to temporary hazy conditions outside and a “campfire” smell. [ARLnow]
“Moonlight and Magnolias” at Little Theatre Until March 21 — “It’s Hollywood, 1939. Legendary film producer David O. Selznick is five weeks into shooting ‘Gone with the Wind’ when he realizes the script is awful and the director doesn’t have a clue. He has a few short days to replace them and restart shooting or the production will shut down.” [Gazette]
Nominations Open For Chamber of Commerce’s 40 Under 40 — “The 40 under 40 class celebrate 40 outstanding leaders and innovators who either live or work within the city of Alexandria. The nomination period closes March 13, 2020. Go to www.thechamberalx.com/young-leaders-network.html to nominate a leader for this honor.” [Alexandria Living]
Update on 3/3/20 — The missing man has been found, Alexandria police say.
Earlier: Alexandria police and Virginia State Police have issued a statewide Senior Alert for a missing Alexandria man.
Booker Smalley, 82, was last seen on the 800 block of N. Fairfax Street, police say.
He’s considered a critical missing person due to cognitive impairments.
“This disappearance poses a credible threat to his health and safety,” according to Virginia State Police.
More from APD:
The Alexandria Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating Booker Thomas Smalley, a 82 year old black male. Mr. Smalley was last seen in the 800 block of North Fairfax Street wearing a grey zip-up hooded sweatshirt and black athletic pants.
He was last seen on March 2, 2020, and suffers from Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Please call the police non-emergency line at 703.746.4444 if you see him.