A man was shot at a hotel in Crystal City early Saturday morning.
The shooting happened shortly after 1:30 a.m. Police say they initially responded to a hotel on the 1300 block of S. Eads Street for a report of gunshots heard, then found a man with a gunshot wound in the parking lot and evidence of shots being fired in a hotel hallway.
The victim is expected to survive.
On social media, a tipster described “a massive police/SWAT presence at the Embassy Suites this morning” around 4 a.m. No arrests were made, however, and police are still investigating the incident.
The hotel is across from the Amazon HQ2 construction site.
More from an ACPD press release:
The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a shooting that took place in a Crystal City hotel during the early morning hours of August 7, 2021.
At approximately 1:41 a.m., police were dispatched to the 1300 block of S. Eads Street for the report of shots heard. Upon arrival, officers located an adult male in the parking lot of a hotel suffering from a gunshot wound and immediately began performing emergency first aid until medics arrived. He was transported to an area hospital with injuries that are considered non-life threatening.
During the course of the investigation, officers located evidence in the hallway confirming multiple shots had been fired inside the hotel. Detectives interviewed several occupants of the hotel as they continue to work towards determining the events that preceded the shooting.
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).
Health Directors Urge Mask Wearing — “Today, all five Northern Virginia Health Directors issued a joint letter of interim recommendations for mask wearing in Northern Virginia. The letter was issued by Health Directors from the City of Alexandria, as well as Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties to Northern Virginia Mayors, Chairs and Chief Administrative Officers with the recommendation that individuals wear masks while indoors in government and other public settings, regardless of vaccination status.” [City of Alexandria, PDF]
Flags at Half-Staff to Honor Fallen Officer — From NBC 4’s Jackie Bensen: “Secretary of Defense orders Pentagon flags flown at half-mast to honor Pentagon Force Protection Agency officer killed in the line of duty this morning.” [Twitter]
Metro Changes for Pentagon Investigation — From WMATA: “Pentagon update for tomorrow (Aug 4): Pentagon Station expected to remain closed all day. Yellow & Blue line trains will bypass the station. All Metrobus service to/from Pentagon Transit Center will operate from Pentagon City (S Hayes near 12th St).” [Twitter, Twitter]
Delayed Request for Assistance at Pentagon — From local public safety watchdog Dave Statter: “Heard shots at approx 10:37 am. This video was at 10:38 am. I’d love to know why Pentagon Protection Force Agency waited until 10:50 to request @ArlingtonVaPD & @ArlingtonVaFD for an active shooter?” [Twitter, Twitter]
Training Exercise Today at Fort Myer — “Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall will hold a routine training event for its first responders Wednesday, Aug. 4, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Myer side of the base. Wright Gate, located at N. Meade Street and Marshall Drive in Arlington, will be closed from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m… Arlington County first responders will also participate in the training, so expect to see an increase in emergency response vehicles near the base. Neighboring communities may hear the base’s external ‘giant voice’ loudspeaker during the training.” [Press Release]
Former Red Top Cab Exec Dies — From the Washington Regional Alcohol Program: “Today, WRAP mourns the passing of former, longtime WRAP Director George Pakidis. The former VP of Red Top Cab in Arlington, George was a beloved member of WRAP’s Board for 14 years 12 of which he ably served as the nonprofit’s #SoberRide Committee Chair.” [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
(Updated at 2:15 p.m. on 8/4/21) A police officer was attacked and killed Tuesday morning at the Pentagon bus platform, outside the Metro station, prompting a massive emergency response from Arlington and other local jurisdictions.
At least three people were initially reported to be hurt, two seriously, as shots rang out around 10:30 a.m. The incident was initially described as an active shooting, though the attack was later reported to have involved a knife in addition to gunfire.
One “person of interest” was sought by police in the wake of the deadly attack, leading to an extensive search, though reports of a suspect being on the run now appear to be based on erroneous witness reports.
Dave Statter, a nearby resident and public safety watchdog, said he heard “at least a dozen shots” and saw CPR being performed on two people who were lying on the ground. Video taken by Statter shortly after the shooting shows police covering a person lying in the street, near a Metrobus, with a white sheet. Officers with guns drawn surrounded another person.
Just before noon on Tuesday, Pentagon police said “the scene of the incident is secure” but “still an active crime scene.” Metro trains were halted while police continued to search the area, including the Metro tunnels.
The Pentagon remained “on lockdown” until just after noon, when the lockdown was lifted. The Metro station and bus platform remained closed as of Wednesday.
Police and firefighters from Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax County and other jurisdictions, as well as the FBI, responded to the scene. The Fairfax County police helicopter was called in to assist with the search. Numerous news crews gathered in Pentagon City as the situation unfolded.
Congressman Don Beyer (D-Va.) tweeted that he is “closely following the situation.”
“As we await more details from authorities, I am thankful for the efforts of law enforcement to keep everyone safe,” Rep. Beyer said.
A large number of police officers gathered outside of GW Hospital Tuesday afternoon, where the seriously injured officer was rushed after the shooting. He later was pronounced dead, according to the Associated Press, which reported that the officer was stabbed and that the suspect was shot by police and died on scene.
During an afternoon press conference at the Pentagon, authorities declined to confirm or deny whether an officer was killed, how many people were injured, whether the suspect was shot, whether a suspect is in custody, and whether there is a second suspect, as some initial reports suggested.
Police would only say that “several” people were injured after an officer was “attacked” on the Metrobus platform. The scene at the Pentagon is now “secure and secure” and the incident “is over,” police said. The FBI leading what was described as an “active, ongoing investigation” that “continues to evolve.”
“We are not actively seeking another suspect at this time,” Pentagon Force Protection Agency Chief Woodrow Kusse said.
Authorities declined to provide other information in response to reporter questions, pledging to provide more details at a later time.
On Tuesday night the Associated Press, citing law enforcement sources, identified the shooter as 27-year-old Austin William Lanz, a Georgia resident who unsuccessfully tried to join the Marine Corps in 2012.
On Wednesday morning Pentagon police identified the fallen officer as George Gonzalez, a Brooklyn native, military veteran and a member of the agency since 2018.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, he was a die-hard Yankees fan. He was a graduate of New York City’s Canarsie High School. George Gonzalez joined the @PFPAOfficial as a police officer on July 22, 2018.
— Pentagon Force Protection Agency (Official) (@PFPAOfficial) August 4, 2021
The FBI’s Washington Field Office released further details Wednesday afternoon, revealing that the officer was stabbed and then shot by Lanz, who took Gonzalez’s gun during the sudden, unprovoked attack. Lanz subsequently shot himself and may have also been shot by police, the FBI said, adding that a bystander was injured during the chaos but is expected to be okay.
A struggle ensued, in which the subject mortally wounded Officer Gonzalez and then shot himself with the officer’s service weapon. Other PFPA officers engaged the subject, who ultimately died at the scene.
— FBI Washington Field (@FBIWFO) August 4, 2021
The deceased subject has been identified as Austin William Lanz, 27, most recently of Acworth, GA. The #FBI continues to investigate the incident.
— FBI Washington Field (@FBIWFO) August 4, 2021
(Updated at 11:30 a.m.) Multiple gunshots were fired in Clarendon early this morning, reportedly after a large fight.
The shooting happened around 1:15 a.m. near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Garfield Street, in the area of the United Bank and steps from the Cheesecake Factory and Mexicali Blues.
“Arriving officers established a perimeter and located evidence confirming multiple shots had been fired in the area,” the Arlington County Police Department said in a press release this morning. “During a canvass, officers located an unoccupied, parked vehicle in the 1300 block of N. Garfield Street which had been struck by two stray rounds.”
“The preliminary investigation indicates a large group had been involved in a fight at this location prior to the shooting,” the press release continues. “Witnesses reported observing a SUV and burgundy sedan flee the scene. No injuries related to the shooting have been reported. There is no suspect(s) description at this time.”
A nearby resident reported hearing five shots.
Same. They were split, first 3, then 2 shots.
— Siobhán Albrecht (@Siobhan1601) July 19, 2021
Initial reports suggested the shots might have been fired from a vehicle — a detail that could not be immediately confirmed — and that someone was treated on scene by medics.
“The treated individual was intoxicated and not cooperative with the investigation,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “It was determined that their injuries were not related to the shooting.”
Police are asking for the public’s help as they continue to investigate.
“This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information or home surveillance that may assist with the investigation is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected],” the press release said. “Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).”
Big Ballston Restaurant Opening Today — WHINO, a 150-seat restaurant, craft cocktail bar and art gallery, is set to open its doors at Ballston Quarter today. [ARLnow]
County Considering Green Valley Curfew — “No arrests yet, but Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz says police are making progress after a June 6 shoot-’em-up in the Green Valley neighborhood… The matter became the topic of discussion at the June 12 County Board meeting, when one neighbor called on county leaders to impose a curfew at dusk for the park and school area. County Board member Katie Cristol has asked staff to return with an opinion on whether such an approach would be legal.” [Sun Gazette]
Police Planning for ‘National Night Out’ — “The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) invites community members and organizations to celebrate outdoor National Night Out (NNO) events on Tuesday, August 3, 2021 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. NNO is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our communities safer and improve quality of life.” [Arlington County]
APS Animal-Science Program Dwindling — “I am an 11th-grader at Washington-Liberty High School and a technical-animal-science student at the Arlington Career Center. The animal-science program is at risk. The number of animals in the program has been dwindling for years. The program has not been permitted to replace the recently deceased miniature horse. Only one goat is left, and he’s 17. The sole surviving ferret, at nine, is living on borrowed time. However, the administration wants to cut our programs even more, taking away our only goat and our four chickens.” [Sun Gazette]
W-L Student’s Vax Effort Lauded — “Before graduation, McBride spent countless hours convincing her classmates to get vaccinated against COVID-19. ‘I was making sure if vaccines were available for some of my friends, they were going to be able to get it and access it,’ she said. ‘I was very compelled by the thought that I want to be able to see my friends in the future, I want to make sure my friends are healthy, and the community is healthy, and their family is healthy in the future.'” [WJLA]
Man Arrested for Columbia Pike Robbery — “The female victim was walking to her parked vehicle when she observed the suspect sitting near by. As she approached the vehicle, the suspect allegedly ran towards her with his arms outstretched and demanded money. The victim backed away and the suspect ran across the street and approached another victim in a similar manner. Arriving officers canvassed the area and located the suspect.” [ACPD]
A man arrested for what was initially described as the “discharge of a firearm” in Rosslyn early New Year’s morning was heavily armed and determined to confront Black Lives Matters supporters, according to new reporting.
A search warrant affidavit obtained by The Auburn Citizen, a newspaper near suspect Moses Geri’s home in central New York state, suggests that he became enraged after fellow guests in his hotel shouted “Black lives matter” at him.
The initial report of the shooting only said that Geri was drunk and firing gunshots in the air, in what one might have interpreted as misplaced New Year’s revelry.
From an Arlington County police press release on Jan. 1:
At approximately 1:48 a.m., police were dispatched to the report of a person with a gun in the 1500 block of Clarendon Boulevard. While en route to the location, a lookout for the suspect was broadcast and officers observed the suspect on the sidewalk holding a firearm as they arrived on scene. The suspect was compliant and taken into custody without incident.
The investigation determined that the victim was in their hotel room when they heard gunshots outside. Upon looking outside, they observed the suspect outside pointing a firearm upwards towards their window. The suspect then entered their vehicle, retrieved a second firearm, and was observed by the victim pointing it upwards again. Nobody was injured and no damage to property was reported.
Moses Geri, 38, of Weedsport, New York, was arrested and charged with Discharge of a Firearm in a Public Place (x2), Discharge of a Firearm In/Across a Road (x2), Brandishing a Firearm (x2), Reckless Handling of a Firearm, and Drunk in Public. He is being held without bond.
The Citizen reports that Geri, seen smiling in his mugshot, may have had more sinister motives: to confront those who support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Geri told police he fired the shots, according the report, after arguing with several people on a hotel balcony.
According to the affidavit, Geri had drunk a quarter of a bottle of moonshine when, around 2 a.m. Jan. 1, he was seen walking around the Rosslyn hotel with a chrome-plated .44 magnum pistol holstered at his hip. When asked why he was carrying the gun — by individuals the affidavit identifies as “minorities” — Geri gestured at them and said it was to protect himself from them.
Geri then left the hotel, retrieved a rifle from his pickup truck and got into an argument with the same individuals, the affidavit continues. The individuals, who were on their balcony, claimed Geri pointed the gun at them. He then fired at least two rounds into the air, which he later admitted to Arlington County police. When they responded to the scene, they found him in possession of five spent shell casings matching the caliber of the rifle. He was also found in possession of three firearms and several edged weapons, and the search of his truck three days later would reveal more than 800 rounds of ammunition, including 5.56 mm armor piercing, soft point and white phosphorus tracer rounds. Geri possessed a shovel, canteen and tactical clothing as well.
Additional reporting suggests that Geri was in the D.C. area to take part in the pro-Trump protests that would turn into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. According to The Citizen, Geri told police that he had a snow plow attached to the front of his truck because “You don’t know what you are gonna come across down here… These Black Lives Matter activists are shooting other people and I don’t want to take it anymore.”
According to court records, Geri is pleading guilty to a felony charge of firing a gun within 1,000 feet of a school and is scheduled to be sentenced in Arlington County Circuit Court on April 23.
A police department spokeswoman referred questions about the affidavit to Arlington General District Court, though courts are closed today due to the weather. ARLnow is awaiting further comment from the Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney.
(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
Possible Microwave Attack in Arlington — “Shortly after Thanksgiving 2019, according to three sources familiar with the incident, a White House staffer was hit while walking her dog in Arlington, Virginia… the staffer passed a parked van. A man got out and walked past her. Her dog started seizing up. Then she felt it too: a high-pitched ringing in her ears, an intense headache, and a tingling on the side of her face.” [GQ]
Arrest in Arlington Mill Shooting — “Charges have been sought against a juvenile suspect related to the shooting that occurred on October 21, 2020. The suspect has been charged with Aggravated Malicious Wounding and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony.” [Arlington County]
‘Headlines’ Mobile Art Project in Arlington Today — Updated at 10:30 a.m. — Per a press release: “The exhibit is called #HeadlinesAreFrontlines, a multimedia show deployed on mobile trucks featuring 12-foot screens of 1,460 daily news headlines, in order, about Donald Trump. The traveling exhibit moves through the streets of DC and Arlington on October 26th at 9am. Look for the multimedia truck in Rosslyn and Crystal City.” [Instagram, BYT]
Locals Recognized for Good Works — Two Arlington residents were recently featured on ABC 7’s local news broadcasts: 26-year-old Dominique Cross, an abuse survivor writes song to uplift victims of domestic violence, and 15-year-old Chip Nordlinger, who spends his free time helping homeless veterans.
Boy Gets Award for Saving Ailing Mom — “On October 13, 2020, tragedy struck one of our own. While playing outside, Aiden, son of Firefighter Josh Wise, noticed that his mom began suffering from a serious medical emergency. He recognized the situation and courageously called 911, providing his address and full details… Aiden was awarded an honorary Lifesaving Award, one of the department’s highest honors, for his efforts in saving his mother’s life.” [Facebook]
(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
Changes Proposed to Rosslyn Development — “Arlington County Board members on [October] 17 will be asked to ratify relatively minor changes to the approved-in-2019 redevelopment of the Rosslyn Holiday Inn site. The request, if approved, would add residential units and delete hotel units from the project, while keeping the overall density of the project unchanged.” [InsideNova]
Today: Online Discussion With ACPD — “On Wednesday, October 14, 12-1 p.m., CPRO will be joined by members of the Arlington Police Department and County staff for our next Connecting & Collaborating Session: ‘Working Together to Keep Arlington Safe.’ We’ll be discussing safety concerns across the County and the effect on Columbia Pike.” [ARLnow Events, Zoom]
PMI to Settle JBG Parking Lawsuit — “Parking Management Inc. has agreed to pay at least $1.45 million and to take other measures to settle a lawsuit filed against it by an affiliate of JBG Smith Properties in response to the District-based parking operator’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy efforts.” [Washington Business Journal]
Suit Seeks to Extend Va. Voter Registration — “An accidentally severed fiber-optic cable in Virginia effectively shut down most of the state’s online voter registration on its last day Tuesday, prompting voter advocates to file a lawsuit in federal court seeking an extension of the deadline that they argue thousands of voters missed because of the disruption.” [Washington Post]
Northam Targeted By Militia Members — “The group of men accused of conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as part an alleged terrorist plot also targeted Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, the Detroit News reported Tuesday morning. An FBI special agent testified during a hearing in federal court that the three defendants had discussed ‘taking out’ a sitting governor, specifically mentioning Whitmer and Northam.” [Virginia Mercury, Press Release]
Nearby: Video of Shooting Released — “Detectives have released video footage related to a Sunday shooting in Bailey’s Crossroads as they continue to investigate. Officers responded to the Build America Plaza in the 3800 block of South George Mason Drive around 1:19 a.m. Sunday after several reports of gunshots. Not long afterward, Arlington County Police located a man with a gunshot wound.” [Patch, WTOP]
Shooting Near Arlington Border — An early Sunday morning shooting that could be heard in parts of south Arlington “happened along the 3800 block of South George Mason Drive at approximately 1:19 a.m., according to Fairfax County police. Police said when they arrived at the scene, they discovered bullet casings but no victims. Shortly after, Arlington County police stopped a vehicle along I-395 and found a victim who had been shot in the abdomen and was trying to drive to a hospital.” [WTOP]
Purple Lounge Loses Liquor License Again — “The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority has temporarily suspended the alcohol licenses of the Purple Ethiopian Restaurant and Lounge, LLC after finding the establishment in violation of the terms imposed… on September 16, 2020. As a result of this action, the alcohol licenses of the Purple Lounge will remain suspended for a minimum of 10 days with reinstatement dependent upon approval by Virginia ABC.” [Arlington County]
Local Tourism Boomed in 2019 — “After a record-breaking 2018, tourism spending in Arlington rose to $3.6 billion in 2019, according to data released today by the Virginia Tourism Corporation. Arlington has led Virginia counties in visitor spending for 12 consecutive years, with local tourism in 2019 generating $97.8 million in local tax receipts… [but] early numbers for 2020 project a sharp decrease in tourism spending.” [Arlington County]
Those Darn Kids Are At It Again — “Certain mountain bikers have blazed new unauthorized trails down the historic hillock known for 300 years as Brandymore Castle. They’ve angered tree stewards and parks protectors who bemoan damage to plant life on that secluded tree-lined formation in Madison Manor Park… The problem, Allen said, is not that mountain biking is inherently bad, but that a few practitioners lack education in the environmental impact of their behavior.” [Falls Church News-Press]
National Landing = Copenhagen on the Potomac? — From a local cycling advocate, regarding the possibility of adding more cycling infrastructure around Crystal City and Pentagon City: “We can turn @NationalLanding into Copenhagen in one fell swoop if we want to.” [@CarFreeHQ2/Twitter]
Today’s a Holiday — As a reminder, ARLnow is on a limited publishing schedule today due to the federal holiday. Arlington County offices and facilities, however, are open. Trash and recycling are being collected, though metered parking is not being enforced.