The gun store had leased a space at 2105 N. Pollard Street, causing outcry from members of the community. However, the store’s would-be landlord said today that he has reached an agreement with NOVA Firearms to cancel the lease.
The debate over the gun store heated quickly with County Board candidates speaking out against it and the National Rifle Association coming out in support. Petitions were launched for and against the store, accumulating thousands of signatures. Conservative media outlets ran articles in support of James Gates, the Marine Corps veteran who co-owns the store, drawing national attention.
Community members — and owners of businesses in and around the small shopping center the gun store was to open — took their concerns directly to landlord Kostas Kapasouris.
Kapasouris was open to those concerns, said Bill Hamrock, the co-owner of Bistro 29, which would have been across the street from the gun store. (The restaurant is co-owned by Kapasouris.)
“He knew right away and it wasn’t going to work from the community, but the business owners let him know as well,” Hamrock said.
Kapasouris said that it was all his decision to cancel the lease.
“I don’t want to have a gun store,” he said to ARLnow.com. “I thought it wasn’t a good store.”
Kapasouris said that he decided against having a gun store after the lease was signed and that NOVA Firearms — which has an existing location in McLean — was told of his decision when the store’s owners recently visited the space.
“Listening to the neighbors and the community, the landlord came to an agreement with the proposed gun store and they will not be opening in Cherrydale,” Hamrock said.
Hamrock said other business owners in the area were pleased with the decision to pull the gun store, as just the idea of having such a store was causing them to lose business.
“I had several customers showing me Facebook [posts] that were telling people not to come to the restaurant,” Hamrock said.
Instead of a gun store, Hamrock thinks that the storefront — formerly occupied by Curves fitness studio — could be leased to a small, noncontroversial retail shop or a café.
“It seems perfect for a bakery or small coffee shop,” he said.
Reached via phone, NOVA Firearms co-owner Rachel Dresser declined to comment on the news until she could speak to Gates. Last month, Dresser told ARLnow.com that backing out of the store was “not an option given the money we’ve already invested.”
(Updated at 6:15 p.m.) Arlington County Police are on the scene of a reported bank robbery in the Waverly Hills neighborhood.
The robbery was reported around 5:00 p.m. at the Capital One Bank, at 4700 Lee Highway.
Initial reports suggest a man dressed in all black and armed with scissors robbed the bank and ran off with cash. He was last seen heading westbound on Lee Highway.
The man had a t-shirt wrapped around his face during the robbery, according to scanner reports. He was reportedly wearing a black shirt, black pants and white socks with holes in them, but no shoes.
A witness, Bryan Hudzina, was walking his dog in the area at the time of the robbery. He told ARLnow.com that he saw the man run by him, behind the bank.
“As I’m walking… we turn around at the corner of the back of the bank [and see] a gentleman wearing all black, covered face, carrying something,” Hudzina said. “[He] ran to the side of me and headed down toward the back side of the buildings.”
Police officers and K-9 units are searching the surrounding neighborhoods for the suspect. Detectives are talking to employees and witnesses, and processing evidence at the bank.
(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) A man is dead after being shot by Arlington County Police in the Buckingham neighborhood.
Police say officers responded to the 4200 block of 2nd Road N., at the Gates of Ballston apartment complex, just before 11:00 a.m. for an anonymous report of a domestic dispute. Officers arriving on scene heard screaming inside an apartment and entered it.
An officer-involved shooting followed. An adult male suspect was shot fatally — scanner traffic indicates he was shot twice in the chest — by police, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
An officer sustained what is described as a serious facial laceration. He’s currently undergoing surgery at Virginia Hospital Center but is expected to survive, according to Sternbeck.
Additionally, another officer suffered an injury after being tased, and a woman who was in the apartment suffered minor injuries, Sternbeck said.
Police and medics administered aid to the wounded suspect on scene but he was subsequently pronounced dead at Virginia Hospital Center. Neighbors say the man who was shot was a middle-aged Ecuadorian man who lived with his mother and was known for occasional angry outbursts.
Late Tuesday afternoon, police identified the deceased suspect as 54-year-old Alfredo Rials-Torres.
Police are conducting an investigation on scene, photographing and processing evidence. Second Road North is closed to traffic and is expected to remain closed for an extended period of time, but police are allowing residents back into their apartments.
After the shooting the female occupant of the apartment was brought to police headquarters and was being interviewed by investigators.
This was the second shooting on the 4200 block of 2nd Road N. in the past three years. In March 2012 a man was shot twice and seriously injured by a ski-mask-wearing assailant.
Metrorail service is suspended between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom due to a reported arcing insulator outside the Foggy Bottom station.
Firefighters were originally called to the Rosslyn station around 8:20 a.m. for a report of smoke in the station.
The station was evacuated but first responders only found a slight odor of smoke, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani.
Having not found any smoke or fire in Rosslyn, Arlington firefighters are currently scaling back their initially large response. However, Arlington police remain on scene, assisting with crowd control.
Large crowds of commuters seeking alternate means of transportation have been reported outside the Rosslyn station and other Arlington stations along the Orange Line.
— JensueFerrell (@JensueFerrell) May 11, 2015
Outside Rosslyn Metro pic.twitter.com/o1S4DsuGSd
— Elizabeth Widas (@emt211) May 11, 2015
— Valerie Insinna (@ValerieInsinna) May 11, 2015
— Kymberly Escobar (@kymesco) May 11, 2015
— David Hawkins (@khnashi) May 11, 2015
— Ashley Pratte (@AshPratte) May 11, 2015
— Micah Himmel (@Micah_Himmel) May 11, 2015
Photo (top) via @WashingtonFlack
(Updated at 5:55 p.m.) Arlington County Firefighters are on the scene of a two-alarm house fire near Ballston.
Smoke and fire was showing from the second floor and roof of a home near the intersection of 15th Street N. and N. Abingdon Street, in the Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood, according to firefighters on the scene. A second alarm has been called.
The flames have since been extinguished and crews are checking for additional hotspots.
Firefighters have also reported that a dog was rescued from the house. Witnesses said the owner also owned two cats, but firefighters on scene said they could not confirm whether cats were inside.
The fire broke out right as neighborhood children returned home from school. While several fire trucks, engines and emergency vehicles were parked on the narrow street, children were running around the scene, albeit out of harm’s way.
No other residents were believed to be in the house.
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) April 29, 2015
Video (above) courtesy Allan Yankosky/1411 Media, Inc.
(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) Police are investigating what they’re describing as a “very suspicious death” inside a house on the 1100 block of 18th Street S., in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood, two blocks from the RiverHouse apartment complex.
Police say a 42-year-old single mother was found dead inside the home this morning. So far, they’re not releasing any details about the manner of death.
Police were originally called to the house at 7:50 a.m., when a neighbor saw the woman’s children wandering around outside the house.
The woman had a 3-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter, who are now in the custody of Child Protective Services, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Sternbeck said there had been a history of domestic violence at the residence, and that the woman had taken out a restraining order against a man who also lives in Arlington. Police are in contact with that man but he’s not currently in custody, according to Sternbeck.
Next of kin have been notified, police said.
Property records show that the house is owned by a woman named Bonnie Delgado. On Facebook, an Arlington resident by the same name, who matches a description given by a neighbor, appears to also have a young son and daughter.
Neighbors confirmed to NBC 4’s Pat Collins that Delgado — who was in the midst of a divorce but went by her married name, Dr. Bonnie Black, professionally — is the victim. She was a psychologist who did contract work for the FBI.
So far, police have not officially released the victim’s name. However, police have confirmed that Delgado’s ex-husband, who lived a few blocks away on 21st Street S., is being questioned at Arlington police headquarters. His truck was towed from the scene, NBC 4 reported. He has not yet been named a “person of interest” in the case.
Like other houses in the neighborhood, the trash cans had been pulled to the curb in front of the victim’s home. As a result of the investigation, solid waste collection has been postponed in the neighborhood until Monday, according to the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services. Police could earlier be seen searching trash cans in the area.
Streets around the murder scene are expected to remain cordoned off by police tape for much of the remainder of the day.
The last reported homicide in Arlington County was in December, in the Westover neighborhood.
(Updated at 11:10 p.m.) One lane of Chain Bridge was blocked during tonight’s evening rush hour due to a grim discovery near the bridge.
An apparent dead body was spotted by hikers about 150 yards north of the bridge this afternoon. The body is said to be located on the rocks, close to the Potomac River.
Arlington County firefighters responded to the scene, and the fire department’s technical rescue team rappelled down the cliffs to access the body. A D.C. fire boat and a U.S. Park Police helicopter also assisted in the recovery operation.
At about 6:40 p.m., a member of the Arlington County Police Department was rappelling down the cliff, with assistance of a technical rescue team member, to investigate the scene, a police source told ARLnow.com.
Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck confirmed a “large emergency response” at the scene, on the Virginia side of Chain Bridge, and said that crews are likely to remain on scene for an extended period of time.
One lane of the bridge was open in each direction at the accident scene, with heavy traffic reported on both the Virginia and D.C. sides of the bridge.
Photos viewed by ARLnow.com, taken from a distance, show that the victim was a light-skinned male. He appeared to be bleeding from the head and holding a dark object in his hand.
(Updated at 11:10 p.m.) One person is dead following a three-car accident on N. Glebe Road near Marymount University tonight.
Arlington 911 dispatchers received a call for a serious crash at the intersection of Glebe and Old Dominion Drive around 8:30 p.m. Friday. Paramedics arriving at the accident scene found one victim lying in the middle of the road, suffering traumatic injuries.
That person was pronounced dead on the scene, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm.
Initial reports suggest that a pickup truck headed northbound rear-ended a Jaguar at the intersection, and that the pickup truck driver was ejected from the vehicle. The driver of the pickup was found dead, but the driver of the Jaguar suffered only minor injuries and did not require transport to the hospital, we’re told.
It’s believed that there were no other occupants of either vehicle, Malcolm said. A third vehicle, in the southbound lanes, was reportedly struck by the Jaguar after it was rear-ended. No one in the third vehicle required hospitalization, according to Malcolm.
Arlington detectives and the county’s critical accident team are currently investigating the crash. All lanes of Glebe Road are closed at the scene, and are expected to remain closed for several hours. Westbound Old Dominion Drive is closed, and eastbound traffic is being diverted onto southbound Glebe.
The victim is a man in his late 40s, Malcolm said. Early in the investigation, his body was still lying on the roadway, covered with a sheet.
Photo courtesy @ArlingtonVaPD
In an email to county employees (below), Donnellan — the top executive in county government — said she would step down June 30.
Pending the selection of a new, permanent county manager, Deputy County Manager Mark Schwartz will serve as acting county manager.
Schwartz, a 30-year Arlington resident, has served in county government since 2005. He was the county’s Chief Financial Officer before being named Deputy County Manager.
Donnellan’s resignation, while somewhat unexpected, comes at a time when some local leaders have been privately questioning the county government’s ability to effectively execute large-scale projects. Such grumbles were exacerbated by the cancellation of the county’s delayed and increasingly expensive streetcar project.
In a press release (below, after the jump), County Board Chair Mary Hynes praised Donnellan’s leadership.
“Barbara has been the consummate professional County Manager,” Hynes said. “She has kept her eye on the needs of Arlingtonians — residents and businesses — and given her heart, her intellect, and her passion to serving this community for more than 30 years. All five County Board members are tremendously grateful to her.”
Donnellan’s letter to county staff:
It has been my honor and pleasure to serve Arlington County since 1983. From my various seats – including budget analyst, finance director, director of libraries, County Manager – I have had the privilege of being part of, and helping to build, our community. And we have a lot to be proud of.
I have served Arlington County with great pride for more than three decades. While I feel in my heart that I could lead this organization for many more years, it is the right time for me to retire and start a new chapter in my life. My last day will be June 30, 2015.
Any success that I have had throughout my Arlington career has only been possible thanks to you. You are energetic, thoughtful, smart professionals who dedicate yourselves to helping to build our community. My gratitude to you is boundless.
The County Board has named Mark Schwartz as Acting Manager; he will do a great job and I know you all will support him as you have supported me.
We have an excellent leadership team in place and I have every confidence that I will leave Arlington in great hands. I will honestly miss the laughter and joy that we all shared each day, while accomplishing much for the community. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all that you do for our community.
I’ll be on the job for another couple of months and I hope to see you around the County. I have built deep connections in Arlington over many, many years, and I will undoubtedly be seeing you around Arlington in the years to come. I hope our paths cross again, and often.
Barbara M. Donnellan
After the jump, Arlington County’s press release about Donnellan’s resignation.
(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) Arlington County Police were involved in a vehicle and subsequent foot pursuit through the Lyon Park and Courthouse neighborhoods this afternoon.
The pursuit started around 12:20 p.m. According to initial reports, an officer trying to make a traffic stop on Route 50 at 10th Street N. was dragged when the driver took off.
Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said the suspect, a D.C. resident, was pulled over for a red light violation. Police found a gun in the suspect’s car after taking him into custody.
The chase went through Lyon Park and ended following a foot pursuit at Fairfax Drive and N. Barton Street, next to Rocky Run Park in Courthouse. The suspect’s car blew out its two right tires and crashed into a squad car. He consequently took off running in the neighborhood and was caught soon afterwards.
Sternbeck said that initial reports that the officer was dragged were slightly overblown. He was leaning into the Chrysler Pacifica when the suspect took off, and was carried for about five steps before he could disengage. The officer didn’t suffer any injuries, Sternbeck said, just “muddy boots.”
N. Barton Street was blocked off between Fairfax Drive and 11th Street for about two hours. Police officers and a K-9 conducted searches for an item the suspect might have thrown out of the car during the pursuit, but Sternbeck said he didn’t know if anything was recovered.
(Updated at 10:35 a.m.) Arlington County medics, firefighters and the hazmat team are on the scene of a Clarendon apartment building for a potential case of Ebola.
The call came in just after 9:30 this morning, for a possible Ebola patient in the new Beacon at Clarendon apartment building at 1128 N. Irving Street. According to ACFD spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani, the department dispatches an Ebola response out of an abundance of caution when a sick person has a travel history and symptoms consistent with a case of the deadly virus.
“While it’s unlikely it’s Ebola, the fire department and the responding hospital are taking all appropriate precautions,” Marchegiani told ARLnow.com.
As of 10:30 a.m., the patient had been transported to Virginia Hospital Center. No definitive diagnosis has been made at this point. Building management declined to comment.
N. Irving Street is blocked between Washington Blvd and 13th Street, according to scanner traffic, but as of 10:30 fire department units were starting to clear the scene.
The last and only other reported instance of a suspected Ebola case in Arlington happened at the Pentagon on Oct. 17. In that case, the patient was found to have made false statements about her travel history — she did not have Ebola.
Update at 5:40 p.m. — In a press release, Arlington County says that the patient most likely does not have Ebola.
Arlington County Fire Department this morning transported a person with fever and a history of recent travel from an Ebola-affected area to the Virginia Hospital Center (VHC) for evaluation. The person had no known exposure to any Ebola cases, and medical findings are not consistent with a diagnosis of Ebola. The person was being monitored by Arlington County Public Health Department (ACPHD) officials under the statewide Virginia Department of Health Arriving Passenger Monitoring Program.
ACPHD will continue to monitor this person, as well as other travelers in the monitoring program, through their entire possible incubation period (21 days). People in the travel monitoring program will continue to be instructed to call 9-1-1 if they are medically unstable or if they do not have private transport. If EMS staff respond, they will wear appropriate personal protective equipment before transporting the person with symptoms.
Arlington County Public Health and Virginia Hospital Center are working together — in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health — and followed the recommended course of action for such cases. There is no cause for public concern.
Hospital staff and first responders are highly trained to take appropriate precautions for all high-risk patients, routinely drilling and preparing for just such situations. The health and well-being of the community are a primary concern for both the County and VHC, and we want to reassure everyone that the hospital environment is safe for all patients.
To learn more about the Ebola virus, visit the County website, where you can also get answers to frequently asked questions about Ebola. You can also call the Virginia Department of Health’s Ebola Call Center at 877-ASK-VDH3 (877-275-8343).
The smoke was originally said to be on the Foggy Bottom side, about 800 yards from that station. D.C. firefighters also responded to the Foggy Bottom station.
As of 9:00 p.m., Arlington firefighters were being told that the fire was closer to the Rosslyn station and firefighters prepared to enter the tunnel with Metro maintenance personnel.
Firefighters have not seen any sign of smoke, and as 9:20 p.m. it was determined that the fire was extinguished after power was cut to the third rail. Arlington fire units are now being put back into service.
*UPDATE* Rosslyn Metro. Fire is out. Releasing all units.
— ARL Firefighters (@IAFF2800) February 22, 2015
According to earlier scanner traffic, trains were single tracking outbound to Virginia through the tunnel, but are not currently running inbound. With Metrorail service suspended over the Yellow Line bridge due to snow and ice accumulation, that meant that no Metro trains were running from Virginia to the District.
— Shoshana Weissmann (@senatorshoshana) February 22, 2015
As of 9:15 p.m., Metro said service over the bridge had been restored and Yellow Line trains were running again. Metro also said trains were single tracking in each direction between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom. Metro is advising Blue, Orange and Silver Line riders to expect delays.
SERVICE UPDATE: Due to ice/snow buildup on Yellow Line bridge, all Yellow trains will run btwn Huntington & Foggy Btm, via Rosslyn. #wmata
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) February 22, 2015
Blue Line: Trains are single tracking btwn Pentagon City & Foggy Bottom due to track problem outside Foggy Bottom. Expect delays in both dir
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) February 22, 2015
During the incident, Arlington firefighters said they were having trouble communicating with their D.C. counterparts, possibly due to D.C.’s use of encrypted public safety radios.
— ARL Firefighters (@IAFF2800) February 22, 2015
Tejada, a Democrat, made the announcement on his Facebook page this afternoon. He thanked his supporters and promised that “a more comprehensive statement will be forthcoming.”
An advocate for diversity, affordable housing and Latino issues, Tejada has served on the Board since 2003. He said that he intends to serve out his current term through the end of the year.
At least four — probably more — Democrats are expected to announce their intention to run for County Board in the coming weeks, with many announcements expected to happen at February’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting. County Board Chair Mary Hynes is also up for reelection this year — she has not yet said whether she intends to run.
Tejada’s full announcement is below.
Amigos/Friends, I want to let you know that I have decided not to run for reelection to the Arlington County Board. I want to THANK ALL OF YOU as well, regardless if you live in Arlington or not, as your support has always been and will always be important to me. Please also know that I’ll continue involved in the causes I believe in specially helping our community.Here is the statement I sent to the Chair of the Arlington Democratic Committee:
Kip Malinosky, Chair
Arlington County Democratic Committee
It has been and continues to be an enormous privilege to serve in elected office and I’m very proud that during my tenure, Arlington has been recognized time and again as one of the best run governments and one of the best communities in the country. After proudly serving the Arlington community for twelve years on the County Board, I have decided not to seek the Democratic nomination for another term.
Serving on the County Board has allowed me the opportunity to tackle a broad range of issues that have strengthened our community. It has also been a real privilege and honor to seek ways to empower low income, minority and immigrant residents in Arlington, the region, the state, and across the country, and to encourage their participation in our society. I remain committed to all of Arlington, in particular ensuring that the least privileged are heard, protecting our safety net, fighting for affordable housing, and providing a voice for many who frequently go voiceless. I have enjoyed upholding these core values, and will continue to do so in the future.
A more comprehensive statement will be forthcoming, but for now I wanted to let you know of my intentions. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the February ACDC monthly meeting, but look forward to addressing the committee in the future, perhaps at the March meeting.
At the moment I do not anticipate a need for a special election for my seat as I’m planning on fully serving my current term through December 2015.
I am, and always will be, grateful to the Arlington County Democratic Committee and to the Arlington community for their support. While on the County Board I’ve tried to serve as an unapologetic progressive, and will look forward in another capacity to always continuing to support those Democratic values. Please feel free to share this message as appropriate.
J. Walter Tejada
Update at 10:45 a.m. — An arrest has been made in the case.
A man is in critical condition after being run over by an SUV in a parking lot on Columbia Pike Tuesday evening.
The incident happened at approximately 4:45 p.m., in the parking lot behind a barber shop and a car dealership on the 3600 block of Columbia Pike.
Witnesses say a woman driving a white or silver Toyota Highlander was trying to exit the parking lot after a fender bender when two men tried to stop her by closing the parking lot gate. One man had his foot ran over, according to news reports.
The other man was knocked to the ground, ran over and dragged several feet under the car, we’re told. The driver then sped off westbound on Columbia Pike.
The man was transported to George Washington Hospital’s trauma center with life-threatening injuries, according to police. Witnesses on scene took video of the incident and police are reviewing the footage.
A group of witnesses said they were in Burger King next door and saw the incident unfold.
“While the guy was lying down, everyone was around screaming at her to stop,” one witness, who declined to be identified, told ARLnow.com at the scene. “She kept on moving and ran over the guy.”
Witnesses say the man’s face suffered severe-looking injuries, “his legs were twisted” and his hands were bleeding. Paramedics arrived to the scene and quickly transported him. There’s no word on the suspect or if she knew the victim.
(Updated at 7:05 p.m.) Arlington County firefighters are on the scene of a two-alarm in South Arlington.
The fire was reported in the basement and first floor of condominium on the 2800 block of S. Wakefield Street. As of 7:00 p.m., firefighters on the scene reported that the fire had been extinguished, although they’re still looking for hot spots.
Two people were reportedly transported to the hospital. Several paramedic units have responded to the scene
A large plume of smoke from the fire could be seen from apartments in nearby Shirlington.