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Metro Transit Police SUV (file photo)

A 32-year-old man is in jail after being arrested for a second time in less than a month.

Necho Taylor, a D.C. resident, was initially arrested the night of Friday, Dec. 23, after he allegedly shot a woman with a BB gun while riding an escalator at the Rosslyn Metro station. Taylor was taken into custody by Metro Transit Police outside of the Clarendon Metro station, after attempting to flee from officers, and the gun was found in his coat, according to an arrest report.

Taylor spent Christmas in the Arlington County jail on a felony malicious wounding charge but was released on bond by a judge on Dec. 28, according to court records. He is also facing a felony conspiracy charge and a citation for resisting arrest in connection to the case.

The motive for the BB gun shooting was unclear. The victim was treated for an arm injury at Virginia Hospital Center, per the Metro Transit Police arrest report.

Three weeks after being released on bond, Taylor was back in Arlington. Police say he entered a business on the 1000 block of S. Hayes Street — which corresponds with the Macy’s in Pentagon City — and, around noon, fled with stolen merchandise.

He was spotted by Arlington officers and led them on a brief foot pursuit before being taken into custody, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.

More from ACPD:

GRAND LARCENY (Significant), 2023-01180108, 1000 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 12:04 p.m. on January 18, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined the male suspect had entered the business, selected merchandise and attempted to exit without payment. A loss prevention officer confronted the suspect and he fled the scene on foot. A suspect description was broadcast and responding officers located him walking in the area. An officer gave the suspect commands which he refused to follow and fled the scene on foot. Following a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody. Necho Taylor, 32, of Washington, DC was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny and Obstruction of Justice. He was held without bond.

Taylor previously was sentenced to 5 months in jail in Arlington in 2016, for petty larceny, according to court records. He’s currently in the county jail awaiting his next court hearing on Feb. 23, records show.

Arlington police car at night (file photo courtesy Kevin Wolf)

Four people suffered minor injuries Wednesday night during a pellet gun drive-by shooting.

The incident happened on the 3200 block of Columbia Pike, just east of S. Glebe Road, around 6 p.m. It involved 3-4 male suspects in a white SUV, including the shooter of the airsoft gun, who is believed to be in his 20s.

From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ASSAULT AND BATTERY (Significant), 2022-12070175, 3200 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 6:11 p.m. on December 7, police were dispatched to the report of shots heard. Upon arrival, it was determined unknown male suspect(s) discharged an airsoft gun from a vehicle, striking four victims with pellets. The victims reported minor injuries which did not require medical treatment. Responding officers canvassed the area yielding negative results. The suspect vehicle is described as a white SUV with three or four male occupants. Suspect One is described as a White male in his 20s with short dark hair and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. There are no other descriptions for the vehicle’s occupants. The investigation is ongoing.

Back in March police responded to a series of drive-by paintball and pellet gun shootings that might have been inspired by a viral video trend. Few, if any, such shootings have been reported since in Arlington, until Wednesday’s incident.

Morning Notes

Fall colors in Rosslyn (Flickr pool photo by Jeff Vincent)

Robbery at Pentagon City Mall — “1000 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 3:39 p.m. on November 22, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined the male suspect entered the business, allegedly concealed merchandise and attempted to leave without paying.  The suspect was then confronted by two loss prevention officers, during which he attempted to push past them. A brief struggle ensued, and the suspect was detained by the loss prevention officers.” [ACPD]

Arrest in Arlington After D.C. Shooting — “A woman is injured after a man shot at her car on Interstate 295 in D.C. on Sunday, police say. The woman was driving on DC-295 at Exit 5C at about 1 a.m. when a man in a white truck with a California license plate shot at her car… Shortly after the incident, at about 1:15 a.m., a car that matched the suspects car’s description was pulled over in the 2300 block of 24th Road S in Arlington.” [NBC 4]

‘Project Winter Cheer’ Seeks Support — “Offender Aid and Restoration is seeking support for its ‘Project Winter Cheer’ initiative, which supports children and families impacted by incarceration during the holiday season… The program aims to provide each child with a $50 gift card, which will be presented along with a note from their parent letting them know that the gift is coming from them and wishing them love during the season.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Monday — Mostly cloudy and breezy throughout the day. High of 54 and low of 41. Sunrise at 7:07 am and sunset at 4:49 pm. [Weather.gov]

Flickr pool photo by Jeff Vincent

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File photo

An Arlington man is behind bars after police say he shot someone in the Green Valley neighborhood.

The shooting happened early Sunday morning following what police described as a dispute between two people who knew each other. The shooting was only brought to the attention of law enforcement after the victim showed up at Virginia Hospital Center with a gunshot wound.

The suspect was arrested later Sunday on the 1200 block of S. Courthouse Road, just south of Columbia Pike.

More from an Arlington County Police Department press release, below.

The Arlington County Police Department has arrested and charged a suspect following a shooting investigation in the Green Valley neighborhood. Kareem Parker, 40, of Arlington, Va. has been charged with Malicious Wounding, Use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony and Use of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. He is being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility on no bond.

At approximately 1:49 a.m. on November 27, police were dispatched to Virginia Hospital Center for the report of an adult male who had self-reported to the hospital with a gunshot wound. He was treated by medical personnel for injuries considered serious, but non-life threatening. He remains hospitalized in stable condition.

The preliminary investigation indicates the known suspect and victim became involved in a dispute in the area of S. Monroe Street and S. Lowell Street, during which the suspect allegedly discharged the firearm, injuring the victim. During the course of the investigation, officers identified the suspect and obtained warrants for his arrest. He was subsequently located in the 1200 block of S. Courthouse Road and taken into custody without incident.

The events preceding the shooting remain under investigation. This appears to be an isolated incident and there is no indication of an ongoing threat to the community.

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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Arlington Branch NAACP First Vice President Kent Carter at a Black Lives Matter rally in June 2020 (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

On Saturday afternoon, Kent Carter left Arlington to celebrate his 40th birthday on Turks and Caicos, the Caribbean islands southeast of the Bahamas, with his long-time girlfriend.

He was supposed to fly back on Tuesday.

Instead, while riding in a shuttle back from a jet-skiing excursion on Sunday evening, an alleged gang member opened fire on the vehicle. The gunman shot and killed Carter and an employee of a local business and wounded three others. The shooting has been covered by both local and national media outlets, including The New York Times.

His last act was to protect his girlfriend of eight years, who survived with minor injuries.

“He shielded me from being shot,” his girlfriend, who requested we not use her name, tells ARLnow.

Now, Arlington is mourning Carter’s death and paying tribute to his legacy as a local civil rights leader, loving father and caring partner. His story has attracted national attention and an outpouring of support from community members and local realtors with whom he worked, elected officials and regional and national leaders of the NAACP.

“We are devastated to learn of Kent’s loss and will be keeping his family in our prayers,” Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol said in a statement to ARLnow. “Kent was a true leader in the Arlington community: knowledgeable and determined on civil rights issues and gifted at building relationships and coalitions.”

Carter, an Army veteran and a real estate agent by trade, was serving his second term as the First Vice-President of the Arlington branch of the NAACP, and the chair of the Criminal Justice Committee. He represented the NAACP on Arlington’s Police Practices Group, which came up with more than 100 ways to change policing in the county, and advocated for a Community Oversight Board with subpoena power, which was officially established last summer.

“Kent led that charge,” Julius “JD” Spain, president of the Arlington branch of the NAACP, told ARLnow. “Many citizens in Arlington will benefit from the hard work that Kent put in. Words alone aren’t enough to express the level of gratitude for someone who not just wore the nation’s cloth, but one who’s a servant leader.”

The NAACP Arlington branch president said his First Vice-President was reserved but could command a room. He was duty-bound to his advocacy work and didn’t care about the accolades.

Arlington’s elected officials are now working to recognize Carter’s efforts, including his work with lawmakers on a criminal justice reform package several years ago, through a memorial resolution led by Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30). It is expected to go before the Virginia legislature in January.

The memorial resolution recognizes “the esteem we in the Arlington delegation held Mr. Carter in,” Ebbin told ARLnow. “It is also in recognition of the impact of Kent’s work for social justice and in service to our country, which extended far beyond the borders of Arlington.”

Carter was born Sept. 28, 1982, and grew up outside Knoxville, Tennessee. He joined the military in 2000 and was first deployed to the Pentagon just after 9/11 to provide security. In 2002, he deployed to Afghanistan for six months as a member of a U.S. Army Personal Security Detail. While in Afghanistan, he met his ex-wife, Melanie Bell-Carter, to whom he was married for 11 years.

Carter also served as an airborne Army police officer and later, as a special agent in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the U.S. Department of Commerce. Concurrent with his military career, he pursued his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice.

His lived experience as a Black man in the South, combined with his law enforcement experience, compelled him to tackle criminal justice reform where he could feel the impact directly: in his backyard in Arlington.

“He was one to stand up for those who couldn’t stand for themselves,” Bell-Carter told ARLnow in an email. “He frowned upon injustice and wanted to be a leader in changing how the country and the world treated people. Always one to look after those less fortunate.”

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(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) A suspect fired gunshots at police in Arlington, sparking a high-speed chase down Route 50 that ended in the West Falls Church area of Fairfax County.

The incident started around 7:45 p.m. when Arlington County police were notified that a suspect that had fled from Prince George’s County police was entering the county, per scanner traffic.

The suspect was said to be driving a Honda Civic, similar to that involved in a gun brandishing incident with sheriff’s deputies in Courthouse this morning. During that incident, a man stopped in a crosswalk near police headquarters and flagged down deputies, before fleeing when the deputies saw a gun in his lap.

Around 8:10 p.m. an officer radioed that shots were being fired at police, reportedly on the 600 or 700 block of S. Wakefield Street in the Barcroft neighborhood, north of Columbia Pike. The suspect then drove down 4th Street S. and up George Mason Drive near the National Guard Bureau before getting on Route 50 and fleeing towards Fairfax County at high speeds, with a large contingent of Arlington police and Virginia State Police in pursuit, according to scanner traffic.

The suspect reportedly drove the wrong way down Route 50 while trying to avoid traffic and caused a crash at Route 50 and Annandale Road in Fairfax County, before getting out of the car and beginning a foot chase, during which more shots were fired at police, near a Shell gas station at the intersection of Route 50 and Graham Road, according to scanner traffic.

The suspect is now in custody and a gun with an extended magazine was found by officers, Fairfax County police confirmed. There are no reports of officers injured.

“Tonight, an individual who recklessly discharged a firearm at police officers on more than one occasion and in the vicinity of community members is in custody due to the courageous and professional efforts of members of the Arlington County Police Department, the Fairfax County Police Department, and the Virginia State Police,” Arlington police chief Andy Penn said at a press conference in Fairfax County, near where the chase ended.

Penn confirmed that police believe tonight’s suspect was the same that deputies encountered this morning. Arlington police obtained warrants for the suspect — on charges of eluding, brandishing and hit and run — after the morning incident, Penn said.

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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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Morning Notes

Contrails and a jet in Rosslyn (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Man Accidentally Shoots Self in Crystal City — “300 block of 23rd Street S. At approximately 7:45 p.m. on June 15, police were dispatched to the report of a discharge of a firearm. Upon arrival, it was determined that as the male subject was cleaning his firearm, it discharged resulting in a gunshot wound to his hand… No other injuries or property damage have been reported.” [ACPD]

Home Hunters Keep Housing Hot — “The regional and national real-estate markets may be cooling, but Arlington remains atop the pack in the Washington area when it comes to maintaining home-buyer interest. The county was the highest-scoring among 10 jurisdictions in the latest monthly Bright MLS T3 Home Demand Index.” [Sun Gazette]

More Motorist Mayhem on I-395 — From Dave Statter: “#caughtoncamera: Another 8C crash. This one at 5:50 this morning. It’s pretty much like all the other ones.” [Twitter]

More Permitting Now Online — “Arlington County is launching the third phase of Permit Arlington, its online permitting system, on Tuesday, June 28. Several additional permits and inspections will move into the Permit Arlington system.” [Arlington County]

AFAC Expanding Service — “The Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) is partnering with Homestretch, a nonprofit organization located in Falls Church, to provide free nutritious groceries to recently housed families on the path towards self-sufficiency. The new food distribution center will plan to operate weekly and will be AFAC’s first center serving residents outside of Arlington County.” [AFAC]

Cops Seeking Thief in ‘Space Jam’ Hat — “A man wearing a Bugs Bunny ‘Space Jam’ baseball cap is wanted for grand larceny by the City of Falls Church Police and other Northern Virginia jurisdictions. The man was captured on surveillance video by City of Falls Church businesses in February and June while stealing cash in two restaurants.” [City of Falls Church]

It’s Friday — Sunny and humid throughout the day. High of 90 and low of 75. Sunrise at 5:44 am and sunset at 8:37 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Arlington Smoke Shop in Green Valley (photo via Google)

(Updated at 5:35 p.m.) An Arlington jury has found a store employee not guilty in the shooting of a burglar, in a case that received national media attention.

It all started with a burglary of the Arlington Smoke Shop, at 2428 Shirlington Road in the Green Valley neighborhood, shortly before 5 a.m. on March 29, 2020. Three masked suspects allegedly broke into the store and started stealing cash and merchandise.

Shop employee Hamzeh Abushariah was sleeping in a back room of the store at the time due to Covid concerns at his D.C. apartment building. Prosecutors alleged that Abushariah grabbed a gun and shot one of the suspects, who was under the age of 18, point blank in the back.

Abushariah was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding, Reckless Handling of a Firearm and Violation of a Protective Order. Two juvenile suspects, including the one who was shot and seriously injured, were later charged in connection to the burglary.

The Reckless Handling of a Firearm charge was dismissed in April, court records show, a week after Abushariah was levied with a contempt charge for misbehavior in court. The protective order charge remains active, with a hearing set for this coming Tuesday.

But yesterday, after a trial in Arlington Circuit Court that started on Monday, a jury found Abushariah not guilty of Malicious Wounding, the most serious charge.

“I can’t even explain how happy I am,” Abushariah told ARLnow. “I’m home with my family. There’s nothing like being free especially when you know you’re innocent.”

Jowan Zuber, the owner of the store who has appeared several times on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight in defense of Abushariah, said the verdict was vindication.

“I broke down when the verdict, all 12 jurors, came [back] not guilty, self-defense,” Zuber said. “So they saw that the Commonwealth had no evidence holding Hamzeh Abushariah for two years, no evidence, taking him away from his kids and his livelihood when we’ve been fighting.”

He said that video played during the trial showed that it was dark in the store when the break-in occurred.

“So when he shot, he did not know where he was aiming,” said Zuber. “[Prosecutors] really hurt this guy big time.”

He said the verdict brings relief for Abushariah’s family after “two years of nightmare going back and forth.”

“The suffering, the tears that my wife, my kids, my family, my sisters, my parents, it’s not cheap, it’s not nothing. It’s something, it means a lot to me,” Abushariah said.

Abushariah was in jail for several months after the shooting, then released on house arrest for four months before he was arrested again, Zuber said. He has been in jail since, before being released around 6 p.m. Wednesday night.

Both Zuber and Abushariah thanked the jury and said they had to mention defense attorney Robert Marshall’s work on the case. In a video posted to Facebook, Abushariah reunites with his family leaving jail as Zuber says it’s all thanks to Marshall.

“We believed in [Marshall] since day 1, and he just went and just showed what the righteous is about and showed that we shouldn’t protect criminals and you have the right to protect yourself when people are coming to hurt you or break in in a violent way,” Zuber told ARLnow. “This is very bad for Arlington because we are here as citizens, we pay our taxes, and we want to protect the good people, not the bad… The jury, the people, made this happen.”

Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington and Falls Church, provided a brief statement to ARLnow.

“As always, we respect the verdict and thank the jurors for their service,” the county’s top prosecutor said.

In response to additional questions from ARLnow, Tafti declined to provide other details about the case and the end result of the charges against the two burglary suspects.

“These were juvenile dispositions, and therefore not public record,” she said.

Newly free, Abushariah said it’s nice to see his children, and the green grass and enjoy the weather and good food.

“The smallest things mean so much when you’re free,” he said. “The smallest things in life matter.”

He said he wishes the person he shot well.

“I hope his life will get better, that he will recover, both of us will,” he said.

Brandi Bottalico contributed to this report

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Morning Notes

Man Convicted of Crystal City Shooting — “A convicted murderer has been found guilty on four charges for shooting and wounding his ex-girlfriend in her Arlington, Virginia, office in 2019. Mumeet Muhammad forced his way into the woman’s office, in the 1500 block of Crystal Drive in Crystal City, and shot the woman on Aug. 28, 2019. Muhammad also was shot by police.” [WTOP]

Body Found Near Roosevelt Island — “A death investigation was underway Wednesday after a body was found in the Potomac River, D.C. police said.  Authorities said the body was found in the water between Teddy Roosevelt Island and the Virginia shoreline under the footbridge pedestrians use to access the island… Officials with knowledge of the investigation said the body was heavily decomposed.” [NBC 4, Twitter]

GW Parkway Chase Leads to Lawsuit — “A D.C. police captain sued the District on Tuesday, alleging he was retaliated against after trying to stop a high-speed pursuit last month that ended with a car overturning on the George Washington Memorial Parkway, causing injuries and bringing rush-hour traffic to a halt.” [Washington Post]

Task Force: Expand County, School Boards — “Increasing the size of the Arlington County Board and School Board by at least two members is among the recommendations of the Arlington County Civic Federation’s task force on local governance, which on April 12 delivered the first of what are expected to be two sets of proposals to be voted on by the organization in June.” [Sun Gazette]

PSA: Steer Clear of River Near Chain Bridge — From D.C. Fire and EMS: “The river knows no boundaries. All this holds true for the District. One slip off the rocks can lead to a fall into a deceptively calm looking river actually laden with treacherous currents and hidden rocks that quickly pull you under. Especially the case around Chain Bridge.” [Twitter]

Lease Change Scores Big Bucks for County — “Arlington County Board members on that date voted 5-0 to support a change in technical aspects of the lease that guides the relationship between the county government, which owns substantial parcels in the Courthouse area, and the developer JBG Smith, which holds ground leases and owns the buildings on some of those very same parcels… By making the changes, which staff say carry little risk to the county government or taxpayers, the Arlington government coffers would receive somewhere in the area of $10 million to $12 million in a one-time payment from JBG Smith.” [Sun Gazette]

ARLnow Article Confuses Chicago Suburbanites — From the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Police Department: “The incident was reported by Virginia news outlets with the headline ‘Barricade situation in Arlington Heights.’ News reports were then shared on social media using the #ArlingtonHeights. We understand this created some confusion and concern for our residents. The Arlington Heights Police Department would like to clarify the above incident occurred in Arlington County, Virginia.” [Facebook]

It’s Thursday — Rain and storms in the afternoon and evening. Southwest wind 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. High of 76 and low of 59. Sunrise at 6:34 am and sunset at 7:45 pm. [Weather.gov]

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