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(Updated at 8:55 p.m.) Wakefield High School and Claremont Elementary School were secured today in response to reports of gunfire in nearby Bailey’s Crossroads.

The secure-the-building status has since been lifted, an Arlington Public Schools spokesman told ARLnow shortly after 1 p.m.

Police initially believed that someone armed with a rifle in a high-rise building damaged several vehicles in the Crossroads Place shopping center along Route 7, according to scanner traffic. Fairfax County police, including the county’s police helicopter, searched for the shooter for hours.

Later Friday, FCPD announced that detectives determined that the shots were fired from the ground and not from a rifle.

Officers were first dispatched to the scene around 11:15 a.m. after someone reported hearing a loud noise and finding a hole in their car’s rear window.

Scene of shooting investigation in Bailey’s Crossroads (via Google Maps)

FCPD told our sister site FFXnow that this was not considered an active shooter situation. No additional shots were fired and there have been no reports of injuries.

Route 7 was completely blocked by police between S. Jefferson Street and Carlin Springs Road for an extended period of time but has since reopened. Arlington County officers assisted with the road closure. People in the Bailey’s Crossroads area were urged to shelter in place.

The following email was sent to Wakefield High School families shortly after noon.

Dear Families,

Wakefield has been notified of an incident involving police activity near the school. As a precaution, we have placed the school in Secure-the-Building* status. This means that all doors are locked and no one can leave or enter the building as a precaution.

Updates will be communicated via School Talk.

*What is the Secure-the-Building Status?  

This action is activated when there is a reported threat or hazard outside of the school building. Secure uses the security of the physical facility to act as protection. All students and staff are brought into the secure building and all exterior doors are locked. Classes continue uninterrupted inside the building.

The search for the shooter was still ongoing as of 4 p.m.

Map via Google Maps

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(Updated at 5:35 p.m.) Police and firefighters swarmed Washington-Liberty High School this afternoon after an apparent hoax about an active shooter.

A caller told Arlington’s 911 dispatch that someone shot numerous people in a specific classroom at the school, according to scanner traffic, but no such shooting was located by authorities.

Scanner traffic suggests that Fairfax and Culpeper county schools might have received a similar alarming but false report. InsideNova later reported that “schools in Spotsylvania and Culpeper counties were among several across the state on Monday to fall victim to fake 911 calls reporting an active shooter.”

A Twitter thread details other false active shooter reports at schools around Virginia today — including in Loudoun County, Charlottesville, Norfolk, Fauquier, Lynchburg and elsewhere — and in other parts of the country today and last week. the Loudoun sheriff’s office described the incident as an instance of “swatting.”

A portion of the emergency activity at W-L started clearing the scene shortly after it became apparent that there was no shooter, but police continued to sweep the high school and its annex as a precaution.

Washington-Liberty, one of three comprehensive public high schools in Arlington, was evacuated in October 2021 after a false report of an active shooter. Two people were charged in July after fireworks set off during summer school at W-L prompted another active shooter panic and large emergency response.

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(Updated at 7:55 a.m.) Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse caught fire after a car barreled into it at the height of dinnertime Friday.

The fire is now out after a two-alarm fire department response. Photos from the scene show the longtime local bar charred, with a car fully inside the restaurant after the crash. An earlier photo shows flames shooting out of the front of the pub while police run towards the scene and an injured person is hoisted by several people on the sidewalk.

Police say four people were taken to hospitals with serious, potentially life-threatening injuries. Four additional people were hospitalized with less serious injuries, while six were treated on scene, according to Arlington County police.

The driver of the car and at least one restaurant employee are said to be among the injured.

Dave Cahill, Four Courts’ general manager, told ARLnow in a brief phone call that at least one employee was hospitalized for smoke inhalation, but none were among the seriously injured. All four of the seriously injured people are believed to be customers who were inside the bar at a happy hour for a local company, Cahill said.

The crash happened when a car “came down N. Courthouse Road and went into the building going very quick,” Cahill said. He said it went about 20 feet into the building before coming to rest and catching fire. Initial reports suggest multiple people were inside the car at the time of the crash.

Courthouse Road ends at a “T” intersection with Wilson Blvd, with Four Courts directly in front of the turning traffic. It is unclear why the driver did not stop or turn. The car appeared to be going well above the speed limit, witnesses said.

Police radio traffic from immediately after the crash paints a chaotic scene, with officers requesting “a lot of ambulances” and reporting to dispatch that “a lot of people” were trapped in the burning restaurant. A video posted to TikTok shows people evacuating as the flames quickly grow in intensity and first responders arrive.

A large emergency response remains on scene and roads in the area are expected to stay closed for an extended period of time.

“Please keep the all the injured in your thoughts and prayers,” Ireland’s Four Courts said on social media shortly before 8 p.m. “Thanks to @ArlingtonVaPD and @ArlingtonVaFD for their quick response. We are devastated.”

“Praying for the health of the injured in this horrible incident,” said County Board member Takis Karantonis.

Cahill called the damage to the front of the restaurant “very significant” but told ARLnow that he believes the newer rear portion of the restaurant and its kitchen were spared fire damage. Police said around 9:30 p.m. that the building was determined by engineers to be structurally sound but unable to be reinhabited, for now.

The smashed car was removed from the now-boarded-up pub and taken away on a flatbed tow truck early Saturday morning.

During the response to the crash and fire, an Arlington County Fire Department battalion chief’s vehicle was itself involved in a significant crash on Route 50 at the intersection with Fillmore Street. Several vehicles were reported to have been involved.

No additional information was immediately available about that crash.

Update at 1:35 p.m. — The quick actions of Four Courts customers and first responders likely saved multiple lives, according to new ARLnow reporting.

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(Updated at 10:35 a.m.) A portion of N. Glebe Road between Ballston and Langston Blvd was blocked this morning after a serious crash.

A car appears to have collided head-on with a motorcycle, seriously injuring the motorcycle rider. The exact circumstances around the crash are unclear.

The motorcyclist was reported to be conscious but “pretty banged up” when he was rushed to a local hospital. Both the striking car and the motorcycle were heavily damaged by the force of the collision.

Detectives remain on scene investigating. No charges have been filed as of yet.

The motorcyclist is expected to survive, according to police.

“At approximately 8:57 a.m. on August 3, police were dispatched to N. Woodrow Street at N. Glebe Road for the report of a two vehicle crash with injuries,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “The motorcyclist has been transported to an area hospital with injuries considered serious but non-life threatening. The driver of the sedan remained on scene. Police continue to investigate the cause of the crash.”

Glebe Road was expected to remain at least partially blocked between N. Woodrow Street and Langston Blvd for much of the morning as a result of the investigation and the crash cleanup effort. It reopened shortly after 10:30 a.n.

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(Updated at 11:55 a.m.) A woman has died after being struck by a driver who then fled the scene, according to police.

Viviana Oxlaj Pérez was walking near the Thomas Jefferson Community Center around 7:30 p.m. Monday when the driver of a truck struck her and then drove off, a family member told ARLnow.

Police and medics quickly responded and treated the critically injured woman, but she later died at the hospital.

Police closed the intersection of 2nd Street S. and S. Glebe Road, in the Arlington Heights neighborhood, for about two hours to investigate the hit-and-run crash.

An online fundraiser was established for Oxlaj Pérez early Tuesday morning by her daughter, Hilary Lopez Oxlaj.

Reached by phone, Lopez Oxlaj said her mother was walking across the street with her bike, on her way to the nearby 7-Eleven store, when the driver blew through a stop sign at the intersection and struck her.

Lopez Oxlaj said her mother, who was 53, had lived near the Arlington Career Center for 17 years and was known as the “lady with the bike” who sells cold drinks and ice cream to soccer players at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center fields.

“She was a mother who worked very hard,” she said. “Everyone knew her as a very kind woman.”

Oxlaj Pérez was a married mother of six and frequent churchgoer, who would often donate food to people who were struggling, her daughter said.

Lopez Oxlaj hopes that her mother’s generosity is returned so the family can afford funeral expenses.

“We are collecting funds to… send my mother’s body to Guatemala,” Lopez Oxlaj wrote on the GoFundMe page. “She was a very hardworking lady fighting every day… Please ask for your help, it will be a great blessing.”

As of 11 a.m. the page had raised nearly $3,000 of its $25,000 goal from a few dozen donors.

Police said Tuesday morning that officers arrested the alleged driver, a 62-year-old Arlington man, after finding the striking vehicle about a mile away from the crash scene. Alcohol is “believed to be a factor in the crash,” according to police. The man is now facing numerous charges.

More from an ACPD press release, below.

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(Updated at 12:50 p.m.) Police received a report of shots fired inside Washington-Liberty High School this morning, prompting a massive emergency response, but it turned out to likely be something else.

Police say an extensive search of the school found evidence of fireworks being discharged inside but no gunshots. No one has been hurt.

Several 911 callers reported hearing gunshots inside the school, possibly on the fourth floor, shortly before 8 a.m., according to police radio traffic.

That prompted police and medics to rush to the scene en masse and search throughout the building. The school remained on lockdown for much of the morning, until the search concluded around 10:30 a.m. The county bomb squad, including a K-9 unit, was requested to the scene during the search.

Summer school classes were underway at W-L at the time of this morning’s incident. In a School Talk email to families, sent shortly before 9 a.m., Arlington Public Schools said that students will be dismissed for the day once the lockdown is lifted.

W-L Summer School Families

We are following up on this morning’s incident at Washington-Liberty. At [approximately] 7:50 a.m., a student reported that they heard shots in the building. The school [immediately] went on lockdown. During the investigation, police located evidence of discharged fireworks. No injuries have been reported and students and staff are all safe.

W-L remains on lockdown as the ACPD continue to investigate and conduct a [thorough] search of the building. Students will be [dismissed] for the day as soon as the investigation is concluded. Regular dismissal will be followed once the all clear is given.

As of 9 a.m., there was a report of one adult who was inside the school seeking treatment for a minor medical issue.

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(Updated at 2:45 p.m.) Police are investigating a shooting in Arlington’s Green Valley neighborhood.

Initial reports suggest that a man was shot in the arm and chest near the Lucky Seven Food Mart at 3215 24th Street S. around 9:30 p.m. Police are looking for a black Honda Civic that reportedly then fled from the scene.

A large crowd gathered in the area as police arrived but has since dissipated, according to scanner traffic.

The victim was reported to be conscious and breathing while being taken to a local hospital via ambulance. Police said via social media that his injuries are considered serious but not life threatening.

A witness told ARLnow that she heard numerous gunshots and, at first, “thought it was fireworks.” More than a dozen evidence markers could be seen on the ground near where the shooting took place.

A potential motive for the shooting has not been released. Police are asking anyone with information to contact them.

On Thursday afternoon, Arlington County police released more information about the shooting, revealing that there was a second victim who suffered a graze wound.

From a press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a shooting that took place on 24th Street S. on the evening of July 6, 2022.

At approximately 9:31 p.m., police were dispatched to the report of a shooting in the 3200 block of 24th Street S. Upon arrival, officers located an adult male victim suffering from a gunshot wound and a second female victim suffering from grazing wounds. The female victim sustained minor injuries and was released on scene by medics. The male victim was transported to an area hospital with injuries that were considered serious but non-life threatening, where he remains in stable condition.

The preliminary investigation indicates a large group had been congregating in the area when the unknown suspect(s) fired multiple rounds, injuring the victims and causing property damage to buildings and a vehicle.

Witnesses stated they observed unidentified individuals as well as a black sedan leave the area at a high rate of speed immediately following the shooting. A lookout for the vehicle was broadcast and officers canvassed the area for the suspect vehicle yielding negative results.

This remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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(Updated on 6/17/22) Police swarmed the Crystal City area this morning after a serious stabbing.

Initial reports suggest that a man was stabbed in the neck during some sort of an argument on the 2400 block of S. Eads Street, near the CVS.

A police helicopter helped with the search for the suspect, but departed shortly after noon. Eads Street was closed to traffic as a result of the investigation.

The victim was rushed to a local trauma center via ambulance. Blood could be seen on the edge of the sidewalk along Eads, in front of the store.

Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the victim is expected to recover. From an ACPD crime report on Friday:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2022-06160108, 2400 block of Richmond Highway. At approximately 11:27 a.m. on June 16, police were dispatched to the report of an assault with injury. Upon arrival, officers located an adult male suffering from a stab wound and immediate began rendering aid. He was transported to an area hospital with injuries considered serious but non-life threatening. The suspect fled the scene prior to the arrival of officers. A search of the area, including an aerial search involving a police helicopter, concluded with negative results. The suspect is described as a Black male with a thin build, 30 to 40 years old with shoulder-length dreadlocks wearing a red shirt and dark pants. The preliminary investigation indicates the suspect approached the victim and a verbal dispute ensued, during which the suspect produced a knife and struck the victim. The investigation is ongoing.

(Updated on 6/13/22) A robbery at a convenience store may have led to a panic about an active shooter at a nearby Arlington middle school.

It started at the 7-Eleven at 201 S. Glebe Road. Police were dispatched there shortly before 12:30 p.m. for a report of a man with a weapon robbing the store. They were initially told that someone was injured inside.

“At approximately 12:21, police were dispatched to the report of an assault with injury inside a business in the 200 block of S. Glebe Road,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Preliminary investigation indicates the suspect entered the business, produced a hammer, smashed a display case, stole merchandise and attempted to assault an employee. The suspect resisted arrest but was successful taken into custody by officers. Charges are pending.”

In the end, no one was found to be injured. The suspect was initially held at gunpoint by arriving officers, then arrested, according to scanner traffic.

As officers were rushing to the scene, ACPD asked that nearby Thomas Jefferson Middle School be placed on “secure the school mode” — in other words, locked from the outside. Given the recent mass shooting at a Uvalde, Texas elementary school, the somewhat routine security precaution may have panicked some students and parents.

Around 1 p.m. police were dispatched to the school for a report of a man armed with a gun who was trying to get inside, apparently in an effort to stop a potential active shooter. By the time officers arrived, the man had left the school campus, but a glass door at the entrance was damaged.

(On June 13, a local man was charged with Destruction of Public Property after allegedly trying to break into the school, concerned that an act of violence was underway inside.)

Damaged door at TJ Middle School entrance (photo courtesy anonymous)

Savage said the initial indication is that “the report of an individual with the gun was someone picking up a student at the school.” No other details were immediately available.

“Police remain on scene investigating the circumstances of what occurred,” Savage said. She noted that there was “no threat to TJ Middle related to [the robbery].”

But parents, students and teachers were allegedly left in the dark as to why the school was secured.

“My daughter texted us and said they hadn’t been told why they were in lockdown,” a parent told ARLnow. “We did not hear from the school. Apparently teachers weren’t told why either.”

“There were a lot of scared students,” the parent added.

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Raytheon building in Rosslyn (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 10:35 a.m.) Hot on the heels of Boeing moving its corporate headquarters to Arlington, another Fortune 100 company is about to call the county home.

Raytheon Technologies, which has an existing office at 1100 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, is planning to move its global headquarters to the neighborhood, the company and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced this morning. It is currently based outside of Boston, where the company was founded a century ago.

Raytheon, a major defense contractor and aerospace company, is slightly larger than Boeing in terms of revenue and global workforce — $64.4 billion and 174,000 employees, respectively, in 2021. It currently has 116,000 square feet of space in one of the “twin towers” buildings in Rosslyn, after renewing its lease there in November 2020.

Youngkin hailed the move as proof that “the Commonwealth is the best destination for the aerospace and defense community.”

Four of the top five U.S. aerospace and defense companies will now be based in Northern Virginia: Boeing and Raytheon in Arlington, plus Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics in Fairfax County. (The fifth, Lockheed Martin, is based in Bethesda but has offices in Arlington.)

Arlington Democrats also touted the move this morning, saying that “the County attracts business by smart public investment and being welcoming to everyone.”

Raytheon, meanwhile, said its move “increases agility in supporting U.S. government and commercial aerospace customers.”

“Defense executives have long cited access to decision makers as a reason to be in the Washington region,” industry publication Defense One noted this morning.

A Raytheon spokesperson told the Boston Globe that that there would be “no reduction in the defense company’s Massachusetts workforce as a result of the move” and that “there would not be a net increase in employment in Arlington as a result.”

The spokesperson also noted that the “corporate address change” will take place between July and September and would only result in a “‘slight expansion’ of Raytheon’s existing leased space in Virginia,” per the Globe.

Other notable corporate headquarters in Arlington include the U.S. operations of Nestle, in Rosslyn; Amazon’s HQ2, under construction in Pentagon City; as well as AES Corporation and E-Trade, both in Ballston.

The full press release from Raytheon is below.

Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX) announced today that it will establish its global headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. The location increases agility in supporting U.S. government and commercial aerospace customers and serves to reinforce partnerships that will progress innovative technologies to advance the industry. Washington, D.C. serves as a convenient travel hub for the company’s global customers and employees.

The company will maintain its strong U.S. presence which includes 600 facilities across 44 states and territories. Each of the company’s four business units currently have operations in Virginia. The new global headquarters office will be in Arlington’s Rosslyn neighborhood alongside the Raytheon Intelligence and Space business.

Raytheon Technologies has not accepted or sought any financial incentives from any state or municipality to support the establishment of the global headquarters office in Virginia.

About Raytheon Technologies
Raytheon Technologies Corporation is an aerospace and defense company that provides advanced systems and services for commercial, military and government customers worldwide. With four industry-leading businesses ― Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Raytheon Missiles & Defense ― the company delivers solutions that push the boundaries in avionics, cybersecurity, directed energy, electric propulsion, hypersonics, and quantum physics. The company was formed in 2020 through the combination of Raytheon Company and the United Technologies Corporation aerospace businesses.

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(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) Expect significant police activity in the Ballston area following a pair of bank robberies.

The Citizens Bank at 4075 Wilson Blvd was the scene of an attempted robbery shortly after 2 p.m. The suspect ran off without cash after hopping the counter, per initial reports.

About 10-15 minutes later, a suspect matching the same description as the first successfully robbed the Bank of America directly in front of the Ballston Metro station.

The suspect remains at large and police are actively searching for him. Metro train traffic may also be disrupted as a result of the investigation.

So far no injuries have been reported. The man reportedly implied a weapon but none was seen.

The suspect is described as a short, middle aged Black male wearing a gray sweatsuit and carrying a plastic bag. The description differs from that of the taller, still-at-large suspect accused of robbing the Truist bank in Ballston last week.

Officers reportedly detained at least one or two people in the area matching the description of today’s robbery suspect, though it’s unclear whether either was determined to be the suspect.

Prior to last week, the last reported bank robbery in Arlington was in 2019.

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