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Resident Wakes Up to Find Bullet in Living Room

by ARLnow.com May 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm 6,351 59 Comments


An Arlington woman woke up this morning to find a .45 caliber bullet in her living room.

This incident happened on N. Bedford Street in the Lyon Park neighborhood. A resident of a townhouse called police around 9:00 a.m. after finding that a bullet — likely a stray bullet — had punched through the front of her house and had come to rest on the living room floor. Only the woman and her husband were at home at the time, according to Arlington County police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Detectives were called in and were able to determine the trajectory of the bullet, but have so far been unable to figure out where exactly it came from.

“It could have come from numerous places in a pretty large radius,” Sternbeck said.

A search of the neighborhood this morning did not turn up any clues, but police are looking into a report of a gunshot heard near the 2700 block of Washington Boulevard around 1:00 this morning. The man who called in the gunshot was reportedly intoxicated, and at the time officers were unable to locate anybody else who had heard the shot.

Police are asking anybody with information about the incident to call the Arlington non-emergency line at 703-558-2222.

  • Suburban Not Urban

    Radius is probably a poor choice of words since usually bullets travel in a straight line and radii are generally associated with circles. The spokesperson needs to be more careful.

    • CourthouseChris

      However that straight line (segment) of finite length is the radius that defines the sphere (or “circle”) in which the shot must have originated.

      • South Side Chris

        Oh sure, but mine was more acidic and paraphrased Churchill at end.

        • CourthouseChris

          Yeah my acidic comments tend not to make it out of moderation…

    • Lou

      Why’s that a poor choice of words? The bullet could have come from anywhere within a large radius of the home.

    • South Side Chris


      Somebody who isn’t a professional geometrician used the reserved word “radius” to describe one of an infinite number straight line firing angles of predictable distance on a fixed plane totaling less than 180 degrees or “half circle”.

      But I think the bigger story here is that somebody shot a house in north Arlington and this is behavior up with which we will (should) not put.

      • CW

        Sometimes you gotta just let the prepositions dangle.

    • Mario

      A radius is a straight line.

    • ArLater

      No bullet travels in a perfectly straight line. The Coriolis effect causes all traveling objects to deflect due to the Earth’s rotation. (I will let you use that brain of yours and figure out which way). This effect has extremely small impact on the travel of bullets at small distances but must be taken into account when shooting a sniper at long distances. Please do not leave condescending comments when you have no idea what you are talking about.

      • Quoth the Raven

        That’s why it’s easier to shoot the sniper when you’re close to him!

      • drax


  • CourthouseChris

    Clearly the solution here is more guns.

    • HighViewPunk

      Or maybe less townhouse density.

      • CourthouseChris

        Touche HighViewPunk, touche.

      • Garden City

        If there had been more townhouse density, the bullet would have pierced the external wall, the internal wall and ended up on the living room floor.

        • Garden City

          …wouldn’t have pierced….

  • John Fontain

    OMG, thanks for that insight. Cause before you posted that helpful tidbit i was totally thinking that this bullet traveled in a circular pattern.

    • Southeast Ben

      ever seen that movie with angelina jolie…can’t think of the name of it, but those bullets were bending. i totally believe it too.

      • chris (no not that one)

        Mythbusters actually tried that myth of curving a bullet. It was a good episode. Not a surprise to anyone that the myth was very easily busted.

        • ArlingtonWay

          Arlen Specter begs to differ.

      • Yosey

        I believed this movie!

    • Private Citizen, Zero Discipline

      I think DARPA is working on this.

      • South Side Chris

        I’ve suspected Angelina Jolie is a DARPA project.

  • Lyon Park

    Clearly it came from the gun “safety” class at the community center!

    • South Side Chris

      That would be hysterical. And one hell of a shot.

    • John Fontain


  • Ashton Heights

    The Views at Clarendon, I feel for your poor Lyon Park.

  • BallstonBen

    There is no way to tell what triggered this incident and any speculation on what happened would just be a shot in the dark at this point. I will say that this story gives more ammunition to the anti-gun crowd – they are always up in arms over this stuff and this will send them off half cocked.

    • Chris Slatt


    • drax

      Bonus for the unintentional backyard chicken reference.

    • LPS4DL

      Another good reason for gun control. Any civilian who discharges a weapon in Arlington should lose their right to carry.

      Even the professionals can make mistakes. I used to know an FBI agent who once accidentally discharged his weapon while cleaning it. The bullet went through his wall, ricocheted off the street and lodged itself into a neighbor’s wall several doors away and across the intersection from the agent’s house. Thankfully, the bullet did not hit anybody outside and did not penetrate the wall of the other building. He was well-trained and a veteran agent and still made the error.

      • craig

        so he was cleaning it with one in the chamber? LOL i doubt that story!

      • haha a “well-trained professional” cleaning his loaded gun LOL *howls*

    • Cyrus

      I see what you did there

  • nunya

    welcome to the hole in the wall gang.

    what was that about gin joints, gambling halls and perdition pads?

    • Ballston

      I wish we had bars today that could legitimately be called gin joints.


    Um, a BULLET was in some lady’s living room. Where she might have been sitting up watching Conan or something. I’m sure that even in neighborhoods where this is more common people still get upset about it. And where it is virtually unknown that turns ME into a backyard chicken. JEEZ – who among you would be joking if that bullet was in your living room some morning??

    • FrenchyB


    • SomeGuy

      I have bullets in my house all the time.

      And I would also joke about it if I were this lady.

  • Cletus Van Damme

    “The man who called in the gunshot was reportedly intoxicated, and…”

    It appears that Trevor did the right thing and phoned in the shots…

    • bro

      “Shots fired, brah!”

      • WeiQiang

        One of Trev’s bro’s asked him if they could spare a round, but he told his bro to eff off and fired off the round himself

  • Southeast Ben

    Finds it funny that the Memorial Day post is closed to comments after “Buckwheat” led off with one.

  • Bdgrgl

    This happened in my complex and scares the hell out of me. Nothing happens over there. There are kids all over this neighborhood.

    • SomeGuy

      What is the relevance of kids in your comment?

      • drax

        Kids could get hit by stray bullets.

        • “…….”

          Kids could have done the shooting. Babies havin babies yo.

        • SomeGuy

          Adults could also get hit by stray bullets. I’ll bet there are pets in that neighborhood who are also not invincible against stray bullets. Why be specific about kids?

    • Plunkitt

      “Nothing happens over there”

      Might have to revise your assessment.

      This is the new VIBRANT Arlington baby !!

  • 4MileRunner

    “It could have come from numerous places…” WTF?

  • South ArlJD

    Reminds me of the time I saw some young guys fighting next to my car and went out there to tell them to stop, which they did with much apology. Only the next day, in the daylight, was I able to see that someone had gotten all stabby and the other guy had bled on the side of my car. I even asked the next door neighbor guy about it and he replied that it was the stabbed guy’s fault he got cut because he was so slow and lacked decent reflexes to move out of the way of a knife. He wasn’t badly hurt, but still …

  • Andy

    That’s a good place to bring in the cable now.

  • Alex

    It was obviously close as in a few blocks since the trajectory through the material appears straight and clean and not angled downward. Based on the loss of energy and angle they should be able to pinpoint the source to within a block along that line.

    • ArlingtonNative

      Brah .. you can’t tell jack-sh#* from that picture with regards to “straight and clean and not angled downward”.
      Go back to watching CSI until you have some truly worthwhile conjecture to contribute!

  • Dude

    That’s my old ‘hood.

    Wonder if Crazy Linda had anything to do with it.

  • bucky

    I found some M & M’s under my couch yesterday and called the police, they asked if they were red or blue? I told them they were not there 2 days ago…the investigation continues.


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