Previously unpublished photos taken by ARLnow that day show the men loitering near the Marine Corps War Memorial, with the overrun Capitol in the background. Parked nearby are numerous vehicles, mostly pickup trucks and SUVs with out-of-state license plates.
One pickup truck, with large toolbox in the back, was left running.
The man with the earpiece appears to have been focused on some sort of communications device with an antenna. He was among a group standing outside, in the cold, wearing hooded sweatshirts and other inconspicuous cold weather gear. None were wearing the tactical vests and helmets that militia members who charged into the Capitol that day wore.
Still, the group was deemed suspicious enough that Arlington County police received at least one call from a passerby, concerned about what they were doing there. An officer drove by after the 4 p.m. call but didn’t see anything, according to police department spokesman Ashley Savage.
“At approximately 4:09 p.m. on January 6, the Emergency Communications Center received a report of 9-10 males acting suspiciously and looking around on the Iwo Jima War Memorial property,” Savage said in response to an inquiry from ARLnow. “The United States Park Police was notified to check the park area. ACPD patrol units checked Meade Street and Arlington property, nothing was located and the call was cleared.”
“I have no additional details to provide,” Savage added.
The photos above were taken by ARLnow staff photographer Jay Westcott around 3:30 p.m., just before Gov. Ralph Northam announced that he was sending the Virginia National Guard into D.C.
In recalling the moment, Westcott — a Navy veteran — said the gathering “had the feeling of a rally point.” He shot the scene from a distance with a 600mm lens, reluctant to get any closer due to potential safety concerns.
By nightfall, the men had dispersed, as ARLnow originally reported in an article about the curfew that night.
It’s unclear what the as-yet unidentified men were doing at the memorial that afternoon. Was their presence purely coincidental, or somehow connected to the pro-Trump rally and subsequent violence at the Capitol?
What is known is that somewhere outside of the District that day, according to federal prosecutors, a “quick reaction force” with a stockpile of weapons was allegedly ready to join the fight if ordered to do so by President Trump.
At a Friday court hearing for Jessica Watkins, a member of the Oath Keepers militia from Ohio who is accused of helping to plot the attack on the Capitol, prosecutors told a federal judge that “[it is] our understanding” that the quick reaction force did exist and was stationed somewhere near D.C.
Judge is now asking whether there really was a "quick reaction force" stationed outside D.C. with weapons for militia members' use on Jan. 6. Prosecutor:
"That is our understanding." And after that tantalizing detail, they are moving off the record.
— Rachel Weiner (@rachelweinerwp) February 26, 2021
(Updated at 11:15 a.m.) I-395 in Arlington was the scene of a shootout on wheels last night.
Virginia State Police say gunfire was exchanged between two cars headed northbound, between Shirlington and Pentagon City. One driver was shot and suffered serious injuries, while the other vehicle — a Nissan Maxima with a Texas license plate — remains at large.
The shooting prompted the temporary closure of northbound I-395 near the Pentagon last night.
INCIDENT: Police Department Activity
LOCATION: NB 395 at Shirlington
IMPACT: NB 395 is closed at Shrlington for police activity, avoid the area and use an alternate route. pic.twitter.com/AcsjhvsEGO
— Arlington Alert (@ArlingtonAlert) November 19, 2020
“At 10:36 p.m. on Nov. 18, Virginia State Police received a call about a Toyota Corolla and Nissan Maxima exchanging gunfire as the vehicles were traveling north on I-395 just south of S. Glebe Road,” state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said this morning. “The Toyota was fired upon again as the same two vehicles passed by the S. Joyce Street overpass.”
The driver of the Toyota was shot, but kept driving into the District. He stopped at a Metro station and was given first aid by police before being rushed to the trauma center at GW Hospital for “serious, but non-life threatening, injuries.”
WTOP reports that the victim was a Metro employee and that he was shot in the shoulder in what’s described as “an apparent road rage incident.” No gun was recovered from the victim’s vehicle.
State police are still investigating the shooting, noting that “there is no evidence of any other vehicles being fired at or damaged during the course of the shootings.”
“The dark-colored Nissan Maxima with Texas plates has yet to be located,” Geller said. “Anyone who may have witnessed the incidents or has information about the suspect vehicle is encouraged to call Virginia State Police at 703-803-0026 or email us at [email protected]”
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Southbound I-395 was blocked early Sunday morning after a serious crash involving a pedestrian.
Police and firefighters were dispatched to I-395 near Shirlington Circle just before 3:30 a.m. Sunday after a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle.
Initially a medevac helicopter was to be flown in to transport the patient, but they ended up being rushed to George Washington University Hospital via ambulance instead.
“The patient was transported to a local trauma center by ground ambulance,” the Arlington County Fire Department spokesperson Taylor Blunt tells ARLnow. “The medevac was called off.”
Blunt was unable to provide an update on the patient’s condition.
The highway was diverted at S. Glebe Road for several hours after the crash as police investigated the crash. Arlington County police assisted Virginia State Police with with traffic control during the closure.
— WTOP Traffic (@WTOPtraffic) October 25, 2020
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) A boy was shot in the hand Wednesday in the Arlington Mill neighborhood near Columbia Pike.
The shooting happened on the 800 block of S. Frederick Street around 4:15 p.m., the Arlington County Police Department said.
Police were not called until 25 minutes after the shooting. They were dispatched nearby, to the 900 block of S. Dinwiddie Street, where they found the victim.
“Arriving officers located the juvenile male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the hand and rendered aid,” ACPD said in a press release Thursday afternoon. “He was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.”
Three suspects reportedly fled prior to officers arriving on scene.
“Preliminarily, it is believed that the victim and three known suspects became engaged in a dispute, during which one suspect produced a firearm and discharged it, striking the victim,” police said. “The suspects then fled the scene and the victim left the area on foot and sought assistance nearby.”
“This is an active investigation,” ACPD said on social media. “Anyone with information is asked to call ACPD’s Tip Line at 703-228-4180.”
Prelim. investigation indicates the incident occurred in the 800 block of S Frederick St, Approx. 25 mins later, at 4:41p.m., police were dispatched to the 900 block of S Dinwiddie St, where the victim was located and transported to an area hospital for treatment of minor injury.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) October 21, 2020
A U.S. Postal Inspector was seen inspecting the drop-off mailboxes outside of the N. George Mason Drive Post Office Tuesday, as resident complaints about missing and stolen mail continue.
The mailboxes were reportedly taped off after the inspector’s visit Tuesday morning, which was witnessed by an ARLnow editor. A sign said the mailboxes were “out of order.”
A Nextdoor post about it quickly garnered numerous replies.
“Too many problems with mail being stolen!” said one reply. “This has been going on for years, and I’m glad they’ve finally closed the boxes.”
“NEVER use the George Mason Post Office,” said another. “They’ve been riddled with problems for a long time.”
“As others have said, there has been mail theft there (particularly with the drop box) for nearly a year,” said yet another. “I am happy they finally closed off the box because I still see reports here about mail theft 9 months after our outgoing mail was stolen.”
Other complaints about the post office in the thread — and in dozens of replies to a similar Nextdoor post from July — include missing and undelivered mail.
ARLnow is aware of at least three reports of mail stolen from the boxes outside the post office at 2200 N. George Mason Drive, which serves the 22207 zip code, over the past year or so.
In one case, a tipster said he or she had a thief attempt to cash or deposit more than $35,000 in checks from a business account, though the fraud was caught by the bank before losses were incurred. The incident happened after business mail was dropped off at one of the mailboxes outside.
On Nextdoor, another resident said a thief “took $5,000 out of my IRA account” by altering a $100 check written to a charity, which was deposited “in one of the two drive-by mailboxes outside the post office on George Mason Drive.”
Yet another Nextdoor poster said he also had a check “diverted from this post office… that someone forged and attempted to cash.”
Other residents complained about a lack of information about what’s going on, despite numerous complaints filed with the U.S. Postal Service and Arlington County.
“As far as I know, there has been no communication to the public, which I personally find ethically negligent,” said one resident.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service did not respond to an inquiry from ARLnow in January. Contacted again this week for more information, a spokesman would only confirm that ARLnow’s photo depicted a postal inspection officer at work.
“I can confirm the individual in the photograph is a US Postal Inspector, working hard to ensure the safety of the US Mail,” Michael Martel, Public Information Officer for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, wrote. “Postal Inspectors have access to USPS infrastructure for a variety of reasons including preventative security measures and during the course of an investigation.”
“If anyone suspects their mail has been stolen, or see suspicious activity near a Post Office or blue collection box, they can report it to Postal Inspectors at 1-877-876-2455,” Martel added.
A flyer with mail security tips, provided by Martel, advises postal customers to “use the letter slots inside your Post Office for your mail, or hand it to a letter carrier,” and to “pick up your mail promptly after delivery… don’t leave it in your mailbox overnight.”
Residents on Nextdoor said even employees of the post office appeared to be in the dark this week.
“When I went in to ask what’s going on, my favorite clerk… was very frustrated and said they were not getting answers themselves,” said one resident.
“Something’s rotten in Denmark at the George Mason Post Office,” said another.
A man was shot and killed outside a nightclub in the Eden Center just after midnight this morning.
Falls Church police say the shooting happened outside Diva Lounge, which is located at 6763 Wilson Blvd, in the rear of the shopping center near Planet Fitness.
“At approximately 12:05 a.m. police responded to a 911 call about a shooting at the Diva Lounge,” police said. “Police and medic units responded to the scene, where they discovered a male victim deceased from a gunshot wound.”
“Witnesses to the incident report the suspect shot the victim then fled the scene on foot,” the police statement continues. “The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 30s, with dark hair, who was wearing black shorts and a blue polo shirt. There is no camera or video footage of the suspect available at this time.”
Police say they are actively investigating the case but believe there is “no continuing threat to the community.”
“If you witnessed or have any information regarding this incident, please call Detective Darian Chuquillangui at (703) 248-5165,” police said.
Just over ten years ago, the same nightclub space — it was then V3 Lounge — was the scene of a large, early morning brawl.
Photo via Google Maps
Someone fired gunshots on a residential block in Clarendon, Arlington County police say.
The shooting reportedly happened just after 4 a.m. this morning on the 1200 block of N. Herndon Street, which is home to apartment buildings and the James Hunter dog park, a block from the Clarendon Metro station.
No one was struck by the reported gunfire, ACPD said.
“At approximately 4:11 a.m., police were dispatched to the 1200 block of N. Herndon Street for the report of shots heard,” police said this morning. “This incident is being investigated as a non-contact shooting. No victims or injuries have been reported at this time.
“Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected],” the department added. “Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).”
Update at 5:15 p.m. — In a new press release, below, Arlington County police say the incident happened during an early morning gathering, when “individuals became engaged in a dispute and shots were fired.” The press release notes that two vehicles were seen fleeing the area “at a high rate of speed,” both of which were later located and one of which crashed, injuring two people.
The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a shooting that took place in the early morning hours in the Lyon Village neighborhood.
At approximately 4:11 a.m. on August 14, police were dispatched to the 1200 block of N. Herndon Street for the report of shots heard. Responding officers observed two vehicles leaving the scene at a high rate of speed. A traffic stop was attempted and both drivers actively eluded police.
A lookout for the vehicles was broadcast. One vehicle was located after it crashed at the intersection of 10th Street N. and Arlington Boulevard. The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle was transported by medics to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Through investigative measures, the second vehicle and associated individuals were located in the 400 block of Army Navy Drive.
The preliminary investigation indicates that the known individuals were attending a gathering in the neighborhood. According to witness accounts, the individuals became engaged in a dispute and shots were fired. No injuries were reported.
This remains an active criminal investigation. Detectives have conducted numerous interviews and no charges have been sought at this time. The investigation suggests this is an isolated incident with no known threat to the community.
Anyone who may have observed the incident or who has any information related to this case 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).
Map via Google Maps
A woman was killed while crossing a street in Pentagon City yesterday.
The crash happened around 2:15 p.m. The victim was struck by a vehicle while crossing mid-block on S. Fern Street between Army Navy Drive and 12th Street S., leaving her lying in the middle of the street.
The driver stayed on scene, according to Arlington County police. So far, no charges have been announced.
The woman was pronounced dead on the scene, ACPD said in a press release this morning. Fern Street was closed for several hours while detectives investigated the crash. Police are now asking anyone with additional information to come forward.
More from the press release:
The Arlington County Police Department’s Critical Accident Team (CAT) continues to investigate a fatal pedestrian crash that occurred on Wednesday, July 15 in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood.
At approximately 2:15 p.m., police responded to the 1100 block of S. Fern Street for the report of a crash with injuries involving a pedestrian. The preliminary investigation indicates the pedestrian attempted to cross mid-block when she was struck by an oncoming vehicle. The pedestrian, an adult female, was pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene.
The identity of the pedestrian is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Anyone who may have witnessed this crash or has additional information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Detective S. Whalin at [email protected] or 703-228-4159. Information may also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
A man stabbed multiple times at a party in the Rosslyn area managed to stagger up to police headquarters in Courthouse to get help.
The stabbing happened Saturday evening on the 1700 block of N. Troy Street, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.
“At approximately 6:53 p.m. on June 27, an officer was approached outside Police Headquarters in the 2000 block of 14th Street N. by an individual who had been stabbed multiple times,” ACPD says. “Officers immediately began to render aid to the victim until medics arrived and transported him to an area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.”
“The investigation determined that the victim was attending a social gathering when a verbal dispute between known individuals began to escalate,” the crime report continues. “The victim attempted to intervene, however the suspect then allegedly produced a knife and struck the victim multiple times. The victim was able to run away from the gathering, where he then sought assistance from police nearby. The investigation is ongoing.”
A passerby described a bloody scene outside of ACPD HQ.
“I was walking by the police station last night and saw police and the ambulance with the guy,” the tipster said. “There was blood everywhere on the steps of the police station. Looks like the guy way stabbed a bunch of times in the chest and stomach. Later they had to bring in a fire truck to wash the blood away.”
The victim is expected to survive.
(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) A North Carolina man was killed in a crash in the Shirlington area late last night.
The single-vehicle crash happened on the Shirlington Circle ramp above I-395, just before midnight, and drew a large emergency response. Virginia State Police say a 55-year-old man died from injuries sustained in the crash, and a female passenger was taken to a local trauma center with non-life-threatening injuries.
“At 11:48 p.m. Sunday night, Virginia State Police Trooper M.I. Campbell responded to a single-vehicle crash in Arlington County,” VSP said in a statement Monday afternoon. “A Lexus sedan struck a jersey wall on the Shirlington Circle ramp to the northbound I-395 Express Lanes. The 55-year-old male driver from North Carolina was transported to Inova Alexandria Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”
The crash remains under investigation, a state police spokeswoman said.
VDOT is planning safety improvements to the Shirlington Circle interchange.
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) June 15, 2020
INCIDENT: Traffic Collision
LOCATION: Shirlington Cir at NB I-395
IMPACT: NB Shirlington Circle at ramp to NB I-395 express lanes is shut down. Seek alternate routes. pic.twitter.com/FqHLyEvfl0
— Arlington Alert (@ArlingtonAlert) June 15, 2020