Arlington County Police are on scene of a reported bank robbery on Columbia Pike.
The robbery happened around 2:15 p.m. Initial reports suggest that a masked man armed with a gun passed a note to a teller inside the Capital One Bank branch at 3532 Columbia Pike. Afterward he fled on foot.
The suspect is described as a black male between 5’9″ and 5’10” in height. He was reportedly wearing a yellow construction helmet and vest, a blue surgical mask, black sunglasses, a black hoodie and black pants.
No injuries were reported.
The bank branch is set to close this spring.
The menacing video was posted on Instagram on Jan. 25, but the weapon was eventually determined to be an airsoft gun, not an actual firearm, and the teen “did not have the means to carry out a threat,” according to Arlington County Police.
The U.S. Secret Service brought the video to the attention of ACPD on the day it was posted. The subject of the video was identified and now faces a felony charge.
More from a police press release:
Police have arrested and charged a City of Falls Church teen following an investigation into a video recorded on the property of Wakefield High School and posted to Instagram.
At approximately 7:24 p.m. on January 25, an officer with the United States Secret Service responded to the Arlington County Police Department to report a video posted to Instagram involving a weapon. In the video posted at approximately 12:00 p.m. on the same day, a teen is shown sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle in the parking lot of Wakefield High School. The teen exits the vehicle, opens the trunk, places a black mask over his face and removes an airsoft rifle before the video ends.
After reviewing social media posts and working with school administrators, detectives quickly identified the teen in the video. During the course of the investigation, detectives determined that there was no immediate threat to the safety of the school or its activities, that the video contained a replica firearm and that the teen in the video did not have the means to carry out a threat.
Following consultation with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney and a review of the evidence, the teen has been charged with Virginia Code § 18.2-422 Prohibition of Wearing a Mask, a Class 6 Felony. The teen is not an Arlington Public Schools student and his identity is not releasable due to age.
The Arlington County Police Department is committed to maintaining the safety of our community. Our School Resource Officers work closely with Arlington Public Schools administrators in our shared mission to provide a safe learning environment for students, teachers and staff. Parents and guardians are encouraged to talk to their children about the serious nature of school-based violence and the content they post to social media. All reports of threats and violence made at our schools and in our community are thoroughly investigated by law enforcement and where appropriate, charges will be sought against those responsible.
The public is reminded that you play an important role in keeping our community safe. If you see something, say something® by reporting suspicious behavior and activities to law enforcement.
This case was investigated by detectives from the Arlington County and Fairfax County School Resource Officers Unit, Arlington County’s Homeland Security Section and assisted by administrators in Arlington Public Schools and Fairfax County Public Schools.
The alleged incident happened around 11 p.m. last Thursday, on the 1900 block of N. Culpeper Street in the Halls Hill neighborhood.
Police say two men dressed in all black tried to rob a man who was standing outside of his residence. When the man refused to give them money, one of the suspects pistol whipped him, but accidentally fired a shot in the process. That prompted the suspects to flee the scene empty-handed.
No one was hurt and nothing was damaged by the shot, but the victim suffered a laceration on his head from being struck with the gun, according to police. The suspects remain at large.
More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ATTEMPTED ARMED ROBBERY, 2019-01240225, 1900 block of N. Culpepper Street. At approximately 10:58 p.m. on January 24, police were dispatched to the report of shots fired. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was outside of his residence when he was approached by two male suspects. One suspect brandished a firearm and demanded money. When the victim declined, he was struck in the head with the firearm, causing a laceration that required medical treatment. Simultaneously, this action resulted in the discharge of the firearm. The suspects fled on foot prior to police arrival. No additional damage or injuries were reported as a result of the discharge of the firearm. Arriving officers canvased the area and a K9 track was initiated with negative results. The suspects are described as two black males, approximately 6’0″-6’1″, approximately 30-40 years old, wearing black pants, black hooded sweatshirts, black hats and black sneakers. The investigation is ongoing.
This week, police responded to a store on the 4700 block of Columbia Pike for a report of a man filming women in a dressing room. The only clothing store on that block is the Goodwill retail store.
More from ACPD:
PEEPING, 2019-01280189, 4700 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 7:19 p.m. on January 28, police were dispatched to the report of a peeper. Upon arrival, it was determined that the female victims were inside the dressing room at a business when they observed a male suspect holding a cell phone over the dressing room wall and allegedly taking photos. The victims confronted the suspect and informed him they were calling police, which prompted him to flee the business prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a tall, thin black male, approximately 5’11”-6’0″, with dreadlocks, a black beard, chipped teeth with a gap in the center, wearing a long black jacket, light khaki pants, white headphones, and black and white sneakers. The investigation is ongoing.
Other notable items from this week’s crime report, including some we’ve already reported, are below.
BURGLARY, 2019-01290196, 1600 block of S. Eads Street. At approximately 3:27 p.m. on January 29, police were dispatched to the late report of a burglary. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on January 28, an unknown suspect gained entry to a residence and stole items of value. There are no suspect(s) descriptions. The investigation is ongoing.
UNLAWFUL ENTRY (late), 2019-01280248, 1900 block of S. Arlington Ridge Road. At approximately 11:46 p.m. on January 28, police were dispatched to the report of an attempted breaking and entering. Upon arrival, it was determined that at some point during the day prior to 8:00 p.m., an unknown suspect(s) gained entry to a residence. Nothing was reported missing. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
ROBBERY, 2019-01250003, 200 block of N. Thomas Street. At approximately 12:19 a.m. on January 25, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival it was determined that the victim was looking at his cell phone when he was approached by two unknown suspects. One suspect asked the victim for change and when he advised he did not have any, he was assaulted by the suspects. Following the assault, one suspect brandished a knife, demanded the victim’s cell phone and destroyed it before fleeing the scene on foot. The victim was transported to an area hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. The suspects are described as two black males in their 20’s, ranging in height from 5’10” to 6′. They were wearing dark clothing at the time of the incident. The investigation is ongoing.
LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 2019-01250027/2019-01250029, 1200 block of S. Scott Street/1200 block of S. Courthouse Road. Between 10:30 p.m. on January 24 and 4:11 a.m. on January 25, the tires and rims were stolen off of two vehicles in the area. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES, 2019-01260261, 500 block of 12th Street S. At approximately 9:13 p.m. on January 26, police were dispatched to the report of a possible dispute inside a residence. Arriving officers restricted access to the floor and additional police units were requested to assist with the investigation. Attempts to contact the occupants were unsuccessful and the incident was cleared without arrest.
MALICIOUS WOUNDING BY CAUSTIC AGENT, 2019-01240124, 1800 block of Crystal Drive. At approximately 1:45 p.m. on January 24, police were dispatched to the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that a building employee drank from her water bottle, which resulted in her feeling a burning sensation in her chest. She smelled the contents of the water bottle, believed it to have been filled with bleach while it was left unattended and subsequently dumped the remaining liquid prior to police arrival. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.
More Housing Coming to Pentagon City — Developer LCOR is working on plans for a new apartment building in Pentagon City, to be built on a site that currently houses a blocky, low-slung building containing Verizon telecommunications infrastructure. Arlington has seen “a rising demand for luxury rentals,” including at a recently-completed LCOR building in Crystal City. [Washington Business Journal, Washington Business Journal]
Woman Charged With Bringing Gun to DCA — “The TSA said an Arlington, Virginia, woman was stopped at a checkpoint at Reagan National Airport on Tuesday with a loaded 9 mm handgun in her carry-on bag. There were 14 bullets in the handgun, including one in the chamber. She was cited by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police.” [WTOP]
New Pastor for Local Church — “St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church will host ‘A Celebration of New Ministry’ to salute the arrival of the church’s new rector, Rev. Dorota Pruski, on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 4 p.m. at the church, 4000 Lorcom Lane.” [InsideNova]
Family Surprised to Learn Pet Was a Snapping Turtle — “An Arlington family took in a box turtle to be the new family pet recently — only to find out that it was actually a snapping turtle. The Animal Welfare League of Arlington tweeted out a photo of the turtle, noting that their officers had seized the turtle from the unwitting family.” [Patch, Twitter]
APS Delays Release of Construction Cost Report — “Arlington residents will have to wait a little longer for an analysis of the reasons behind the high costs of school construction in the county. The audit committees of the County Board and School Board had been slated to meet Aug. 7 in a joint session to discuss a report by school-system auditor John Mickevice on school-construction costs. That meeting, however, was called off.” [InsideNova]
TSA Keeps Finding Guns in Carry-ons at DCA — Earlier this month, in two separate incidents, TSA agents at Reagan National Airport seized loaded handguns from two men trying to carry them onto planes. The guns were the seventh and eighth seized at the airport so far this year. The men are now facing weapons charges. [Patch]
Jail Holds Creative Writing Contest — A 26-year-old man who’s in jail on a heroin possession charge won the Arlington County lockup’s first-ever creative writing contest yesterday. His prize-winning poem, in part: “I dream about the future. I dream about the past. I dream about the mountains. I dream about the sea. I dream of all the places that I would rather be.” [NBC Washington]
InsideNova Not Available in Europe — More than 1,000 U.S. news websites are blocking users from Europe after the EU implemented strict new privacy regulations known as GDPR on May 25. Among the sites that are no longer accessible from Europe, as seen in this screen shot from last month: InsideNova, which publishes articles from the Arlington Sun Gazette newspaper. [Nieman Journalism Lab]
Police are searching the area around the Courthouse Metro station for a suspect who reportedly threatened another rider on a Metro train with a weapon.
The incident happened around 1:30 p.m. Arlington County Police and Metro Transit Police are on the scene, trying to get to the bottom of what happened. According to initial reports, the suspect was armed with either a gun or a knife and is still at large.
A photo (below) shared by a Twitter user and retweeted by the account Unsuck DC Metro shows a police officer with a gun drawn and a woman with her hands in the air at the station.
— Kyle Cotner (@kylecotner) August 1, 2018
Police say a resident of a home along the 900 block of N. Pollard Street reported finding their window shattered by a bullet around noon on Saturday (July 14).
The block is home to several large apartment buildings and condo complexes, including Quincy Plaza and the Avalon Ballston Place.
No one was home at the time of the incident, and no injuries have been reported.
Full details from an Arlington County crime report:
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY (Significant), 2018-07140101, 900 block of Pollard Street. At approximately 11:58 a.m. on July 14, police were dispatched to the report of a destruction of property. Upon arrival, it was determined the victim returned to their residence and found their window shattered by a bullet fired by an unknown suspect. No one was home at the time of the incident and no injuries were reported. The investigation is ongoing.
The incident happened last Tuesday shortly after 11 a.m. on the 4000 block of Columbia Pike, just east of S. George Mason Drive.
Police were called and located the vehicle and the suspect nearby, according to the latest Arlington County Police Department crime report.
BRANDISHING, 2018-07030092, 4000 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 11:17 a.m. on July 3, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that following a verbal dispute between drivers, the suspect brandished a BB gun at the victim before fleeing the scene in his vehicle prior to police arrival. The victim was not injured. Arriving units canvased the area and, based upon a description of the vehicle provided by the victim, located the suspect vehicle and suspect nearby. Jose Del Cid Sanchez, 34, of Washington, D.C., was arrested and charged with Brandishing a Firearm and released on a summons.
The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, is below.
BURGLARY (late), 2018-07030201, 1600 block of S. Joyce Street. At approximately 7:21 p.m. on July 3, police were dispatched to the late report of a burglary. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., an unknown suspect(s) gained entry to a residence and stole items of value. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2018-07050034, 5100 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 3:32 a.m. on July 5, police were dispatched to the report of an assault just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that a verbal dispute between the victim and suspect escalated to physical violence, resulting in the victim being struck multiple times and suffering lacerations. The suspect fled on foot prior to police arrival. A lookout was broadcast and units canvased the area with negative results. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 6’1″, 160 lbs., with a low haircut, wearing khaki pants and no shirt. The investigation is ongoing.
FELONY HIT & RUN (Significant), 2018-07080071, I-66 at N. Scott Street. At approximately 4:41 a.m. on July 8, Arlington County Police responded to an accident with injury on eastbound I-66 near the Key Bridge. Upon arrival, it was determined the suspect failed to yield to a Secret Service officer, entered the eastbound lanes of I-66 traveling westbound and struck another vehicle head-on. The driver of the suspect vehicle fled the scene on foot. A perimeter was established and Fairfax County Police Helicopter conducted an aerial search for the suspect with negative results. Due to the crash, the passenger of the suspect vehicle was unable to exit the vehicle. Upon seeing flames originating from the vehicle, arriving Arlington County officers pulled the passenger from the vehicle to safety. He was transported to George Washington University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the victim vehicle was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life threatening injuries. Warrants were issued for Victor Ebai, 28, of Springfield, VA for Felony Hit and Run and Felony Eluding.
ASSAULT ON LAW ENFORCEMENT, 2018-07050205, 1100 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 6:32 p.m. on July 5, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny in progress. An arriving officer identified the suspect, who was allegedly in possession of stolen goods that were visible in his backpack, based upon a lookout and attempted to stop the suspect. The suspect ignored the officer’s commands and fled the area on foot. A brief foot pursuit ensued and the suspect eventually stopped running. The officer issued lawful commands to the suspect, to which he did not comply and continued to challenge the officer. The officer then attempted to deploy his taser unsuccessfully, however, the suspect complied and got on one knee on the ground. When the officer attempted to handcuff him, the suspect continued to struggle with the officer, knocked the handcuffs away and fled on foot again. A second foot pursuit ensued and the officer was able to take the suspect to the ground. The suspect resisted the officer’s attempts to control him and repeatedly pulled the officer’s hand away from his radio and interfered with his microphone, preventing him from communicating his location to dispatch. The suspect continued to be combative, attempting to strike the officer with a closed fist multiple times. Despite the suspect grabbing the officer’s hand as he attempted to use his O.C. spray, the officer was able to successfully deploy the spray, preventing the suspect from further resisting arrest. With the assistance of an additional arriving officer, the suspect was then taken into custody. The officer sustained minor injuries and was transported to an area hospital for evaluation. Lamont Witherspoon, 41, of No Fixed Address, was arrested and charged with Petit Larceny: 3+ Offense, Possession of Burglarous Tools, Assault on Law Enforcement, Attempting to Disarm a Law Enforcement Officer of a Chemical or Impact Weapon, Obstruction of Justice (x2), Preventing an Emergency Call, and served with an outstanding warrant for Grand Larceny. He was held on no bond.
SEXUAL BATTERY, 2018-07080036, 3100 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 1:53 a.m. on July 8, police were dispatched to the report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was inside a business when an unknown male suspect approached her from behind and grabbed her buttocks. The suspect is described as a black male in his 30’s, approximately 5’4″, slightly overweight, with a round face and dark brown shoulder length hair. The investigation is ongoing.
BURGLARY (late), 2018-07060049, 2700 block of N. Pershing Drive. At approximately 6:00 a.m. on July 6, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary just discovered. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 3:45 a.m., two unknown suspects forced entry to a business and stole items of value. There are no suspect descriptions. The investigation is ongoing.
BURGLARY (late), 2018-07080198, 1200 block of S. Scott Street. At approximately 6:38 p.m. on July 8 police responded to the report of a burglary just discovered. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 9:15 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., an unknown suspect(s) forced entry to a residence and stole items of value. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
BURGLARY, 2018-07080101, 3100 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 10:23 a.m. on July 8, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim remotely observed a male suspect force entry to their business and steal items of value. After exiting the business, the suspect located a taxi and fled the area. During the course of the investigation, police were able to determine the identity of the driver of the taxi and make contact with him. The driver returned to the scene, but the suspect had exited the vehicle prior to the taxi’s return to the scene. The suspect is described as a black male, 40-50 years old, approximately 5’10”-6’0″, 150 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes. The investigation is ongoing.
The board of a condominium building in Virginia Square is moving its meeting spot after a resident brought a gun to two board meetings.
In a letter sent to residents, transcribed below, the board of the Tower Villas (3800 Fairfax Drive) condo community says that while the armed man didn’t violate any current rules, the gun “caused certain attendees of these meetings fear for their safety.”
Because trying to ban guns from the board meeting — held in the building lobby — would be a legal gray area, the board said it decided to move its meeting to Washington-Lee High School, where guns are prohibited by law, “until the Board receives assurances from this individual that they will no longer bring a firearm to future Board meetings.”
Reached by phone, a building manager declined to comment.
The full letter is below.
It has been alleged that a member of the Tower Villas community has brought a firearm to the past two Board of Directors meetings. The Board has been made aware that this has caused certain attendees of these meetings fear for their safety. Members of the Board share these concerns. The Board reached out to this individual and respectfully requested that they confirm whether a firearm was in their possession during those meetings, and requested that the individual no longer bring the firearm to meetings if one was in their possession. While a response was received, the communication did not conclusively respond to either of the Board’s requests.
The Board has consulted with legal counsel and believes that the best course of action to address residents’ safety concerns is to conduct Board meetings at a location where firearms are prohibited by law. While the Board believes that it is within its right to prohibit members from bringing firearms to Board meetings held on the common elements, the enforcement of such a prohibition (should this individual choose to ignore it) could prove to be costly and time-consuming.
As such, the Board of Directors meetings will be held offsite at the Washington & Lee High School just a few blocks away until the Board receives assurances from this individual that they will no longer bring a firearm to future Board meetings. However, due to lack of availability, the Board’s June meeting has been postponed. We will keep all residents informed of the date and time of our next meeting.
We understand that this breaks from a longstanding Tower Villas tradition of conducting Board meetings in our lobby, but out of an abundance of caution, the Board believes that this is a reasonable and prudent course of action. It is our hope that this will be a temporary measure. We appreciate your understanding and encourage you to attend our offsite meetings.
The Tower Villas Board of Directors
Photo via Google Maps
Organized by Arlington members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the rally will feature speeches from local leaders and voter registration with Arlington NAACP volunteers.
“I see rallies like this as an opportunity to raise awareness, to think about the daily violence that happens that doesn’t make the newspapers, but is something that impacts all of us,” Beth Fine, the local lead for Moms Demand Action, told ARLnow.
The event is one of 19 that will take place throughout the state this weekend, according to the Virginia Moms Demand Action Facebook page, and is among more than 350 planned across the country.
Arlington County Board Vice Chair Christian Dorsey and School Board Chair Barbara Kanninen will both speak at the rally alongside Arlington Poet Laureate Katherine Young and student activists Karina de Leede and Chloe Fugle.
“I will be speaking about the School Board’s support for Wear Orange, our concern for the safety of our students and staff and the importance of student voices,” Kanninen said.
The Wear Orange movement began in 2013 when friends of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton wore the color after Pendleton was shot and killed. Everytown for Gun Safety, a national organization that advocates against gun violence, began promoting the campaign nationally in 2015.
But Fine notes that the movement also has plenty of support locally, including from the County Board. In May, the Board declared June 1 National Gun Violence Awareness Day in Arlington, a decision that Fine believes “sets the right tone.”
“It’s important too that they know we are out there supporting people who are on board with this message,” she added.
Over 200 businesses in the Arlington area will also post fliers or offer specials to customers wearing orange this weekend, according to organizers. Alto Fumo, Ambar, Busboys & Poets, Cafe Pizzaiolo and New District Brewing Company are among the local businesses expected to run Wear Orange promotions this weekend.
Ultimately, Fine said community members who attend the rally should feel empowered to make change.
“I think what they should should come away [from] it with is the idea that they can actually effect change,” Fine said. “They will have some ideas as they leave about what they can do to make a difference.”
Photo via Facebook
Police arrived at a building on the 3900 block of Fairfax Drive just before 1 a.m. last Friday after a person inside reported hearing a loud noise, then found a small hole in the wall and a metallic object.
During their investigation, police determined that a man in a neighboring apartment had been cleaning a gun and it accidentally discharged, shooting a bullet into, and creating damage to, the other apartment.
Police charged 28-year-old Alexander Kreitle with discharging a firearm into an occupied building.
No injuries were reported from the incident.
Crystal City Tops HQ2 Poll — The combined Crystal City-Potomac Yard site is the most likely D.C. area landing spot for Amazon’s second headquarters, according to an online poll conducted by the Washington Business Journal. Meanwhile, D.C., Virginia and Maryland officials are teaming up to promote the region as the HQ2 search continues. Amazon fever has even entered the world of local business conferences: an event dubbed “HQmania” is scheduled to be held in Rosslyn next month. [Washington Business Journal, WAMU, DCA Live]
Rosslyn Lands Nonprofit HQ — “It’s been a good week for Rosslyn. First came the news that Gerber, a Nestle subsidiary, would relocate its headquarters and 150 jobs from New Jersey to 1812 N. Moore St. And Friday, we learn that a D.C.-based global nonprofit has decided to cross the Potomac into Arlington.” [Washington Business Journal]
ART Bus Stop Vandalized — Someone smashed two of the windows on an ART bus stop in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood late last week. [Twitter]
Arlington Man Charged With Statutory Rape — A 47-year-old Arlington man was arrested at his home last month and charged with the statutory rape of a minor in North Carolina. The man arranged meeting the minor in North Carolina via the messaging app Kik, which is popular with teens. [Fox 8]
Local Columbine Survivor Addresses Student Protesters — “Salli Garrigan was in music class when the sound of gunshots reverberated through the halls of her high school… Garrigan, now 35 and an Arlington resident, stood Friday before a crowd of D.C.-area students gathered on the U.S. Capitol lawn and told them when she was their age, she didn’t know how to make her voice heard.” [Washington Post]
Long Bridge Park Field Renovations Starting — Work is set to begin today on new turf for Long Bridge Park’s heavily-used Field No. 3. The field is expected to be closed for 45 days. [Arlington County]
Past and Present School Board Members Gather — On Thursday, the Arlington School Board held its last meeting at the Arlington Education Center building next to Washington-Lee High School. The board room and administrative offices are moving to the Syphax Education Center along Washington Blvd. To mark the last meeting, past and current School Board members members gathered for a photo. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Duluoz Me
Remembering Barbara Bush — Via the Arlington GOP Twitter account: “Former First Lady Barbara Bush died today at age 92. She will always be remembered for representing the best of America. We pray for and send condolences to her family.” [Twitter, CBS News]
Arlington Man Facing Firearms Charges in Pa. — From a TV station near Pittsburgh: “A Virginia man is facing charges after police said he possessed 14 guns despite having a protection from abuse order against him. Perry Georgeadis, 63, of… Arlington, Virginia, is charged with 14 counts of person not to possess a firearm.” [WJAC]
Arlington’s Gain is New Jersey’s Pain — The announcement that Gerber is moving its corporate headquarters to Rosslyn, to the same building as corporate parent Nestle USA, is bad economic news for New Jersey. “This means close to 180 New Jerseyans will be out of a job. But the company promised to help employees affected, mostly in corporate positions such as marketing, finance and HR, by offering them the chance to relocate, and severance and outpatient support for those that can’t make the move.” [NJ.com]
Arlington Students Make TJ Science Cut — “Students from Arlington’s public-school system will represent about 5 percent of the incoming freshman class at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology. A total of 25 APS students have been offered admission to the regional magnet school.” [InsideNova]
Nearby: Alexandria Debates High School Lights — In a situation that may sound familiar to those in Arlington, the question of whether or not to add lights to the soon-to-be-renovated T.C. Williams High School stadium is pitting neighbors of the school against high school athletic boosters and school administrators. [Alexandria Times]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
(Updated at 11:10 a.m.) A gun store in Lyon Park is quietly doing steady business despite a roiling national debate over gun control policies.
“It’s a small growth every couple months, but I don’t think we can correlate it to an event,” Poulin said.
Poulin said that the store hasn’t followed typical gun sale trends because, he believes, his focus is on community, not profit. The store has become a place for people of all backgrounds, including law enforcement officers and military personnel, to hang out.
“We’re not here to get rich off this. We’re here because we like it doing a service for people,” he said.
According to CNN there was a national uptick in background checks, which correlated to increased gun sales, during the Obama administration, but gun sales and corresponding background checks fell nationwide in 2017.
NOVA Armory’s sales, according to its owner, have held steady and haven’t followed national trends since it opened in 2016. That includes upticks in sales seen nationwide after mass shootings during Obama’s presidency.
The store sells the AR-15, the same gun used in the Parkland, Fla. school shooting that recently reignited the gun control debate.
Poulin noted that NOVA Armory has reserved the right to refuse service on any reason the store sees fit. There have been no threats made against the store since the February shooting in Parkland, Fla., he added.
The store, however, faced major community backlash prior to and shortly after opening two years ago. NOVA Armory, at that time under different management, threatened to sue 64 individuals who spoke out against the store’s opening. Also in 2016, the store suffered a burglary and an incident in which “a man with mental health issues walked [in] and started yelling obscenities.”
Photo via NOVA Armory/Facebook
Sen. Tim Kaine has organized an “action planning meeting” in Arlington with gun violence advocates, victims’ families and faith leaders, the day before gun violence prevention marches are scheduled nationwide.
The event will be held at George Mason University’s Founders Hall on Friday (March 23) at 1 p.m. Per a press release, meeting attendees will “talk about the work they are doing in the community to promote safety reforms that make communities safer.”
The senator, according to the release, “is optimistic that the activism of students and parents who have spoken out all over the country has changed the dynamic of the gun violence prevention debate and could finally spur action in Congress.
Among the events is a “Town Hall for Action on Commonsense Gun Safety Measures” held by the Arlington County Democratic Committee. It is scheduled to take place on Sunday, the day after the rally, at Faith Lutheran Church (3313 Arlington Boulevard) from 2-4 p.m.
Virginia Del. Chris Hurst (D-12) will be the keynote speaker, discussing his personal gun violence story.
The following speakers will also attend the town hall and “offer unique perspectives on the issue of gun violence and concrete action steps,” per a Facebook event listing.
- Beth Arthur, Arlington Sheriff’s Office
- Kris Brown, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
- Karina de Leede, Arlington Student Activists
- Chloe Fugel, Arlington Student Activists
- Josh Horwitz, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
- Celia Slater, Moms Demand Action Arlington
- Yasmine Taeb, Alumnus of Stoneman Douglas High School and current DNC member
- Tannia Talento, Arlington School Board
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will be leading Arlington Democrats in the march on Saturday, starting on the Arlington side of the Memorial Bridge at 10:30 a.m., according to a press release from state Sen. Adam Ebbin’s office.