Press Club

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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Arlington police say they’re now investigating a series of drive-by paintball and pellet gun shootings.

The shootings are believed to have been inspired by a viral TikTok trend dubbed the “Orbeez challenge,” which has led to numerous reports from across the U.S. of injuries and arrests from people being shot with pellets, paintballs or gel-balls.

ARLnow reported yesterday that four people were struck by paintballs shot from a passing car in Crystal City on Friday. One person was hospitalized. Today Arlington police said two recent incidents of people being shot by pellet guns, fired from passing vehicles, may be tied to the social media trend.

“The Arlington County Police Department takes these incidents seriously and continues to actively investigate to identify those responsible,” said the police department.

More from an ACPD press release, below.

The Arlington County Police Department is investigating four reports of paintballs and pellets being discharged from vehicles at community members in the last week. Similar incidents have been reported in other states and appear to stem from challenges originated on social media. While the motivation behind the Arlington incidents is unknown at this time, the Arlington County Police Department takes these incidents seriously and continues to actively investigate to identify those responsible.

Reported Incidents

ASSAULT & BATTERY, 2022-03160222, S. Eads Street at 12th Street S. At approximately 6:00 p.m. on March 16, police were dispatched to the report of disorderly conduct. Upon arrival, it was determined the victim was walking in the area when the suspect vehicle approached and discharged a pellet gun, striking the victim. The suspect vehicle is described as a maroon SUV.

ASSAULT & BATTERY, 2022-03180231/0254, 1400 block of S. Eads Street/15th Street S. at S. Eads. At approximately 7:24 p.m. on March 18, police were dispatched to the report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined the two victims were walking in the area when the suspect vehicle approached and the passenger discharged a paintball gun striking the victims, a parked vehicle and the door to a business. At approximately 9:10 p.m., police were dispatched to the report of an assault and determined two additional victims were walking in the area when they were struck by the suspect discharging a paintball gun from the vehicle. The suspect vehicle is described as a silver, older model four door sedan.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2022-03210246, Washington Boulevard at N. Highland Street. At approximately 4:54 p.m. on March 21, police were dispatched to the report of a person with a gun. Upon arrival, it was determined the victim was walking in the area when he was struck by pellets discharged from a vehicle. The suspect vehicle is described as a gray or light blue small SUV.

Report Information and Incidents to Police for Investigation

These remain active criminal investigations. Anyone with information related to these incidents is asked to contact the Police Department’s Tip Line at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] or anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

If you are the victim or witness of similar incidents, report immediately to police by calling the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222 or 9-1-1 in an emergency. Provide the dispatcher with as much information as possible including vehicle description, license plate, direction of travel and suspect(s) description.

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

Someone in a passing vehicle shot several people with paintballs in Pentagon City this weekend, sending at least one victim to the hospital.

The two incidents happened about two hours apart Friday night, along S. Eads Street near the Amazon HQ2 construction site. At least four people were struck by paintballs fired by the passenger inside an older, silver sedan, police said.

From an ACPD crime report today:

ASSAULT & BATTERY (Significant), 2022-03180231/0254, 1400 block of S. Eads Street/15th Street S. as S. Eads. At approximately 7:24 p.m. on March 18, police were dispatched to the report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined the two victims were walking in the area when the suspect vehicle approached and the passenger discharged a paintball gun striking the victims, a parked vehicle and the door to a business. At approximately 9:10 p.m., police were dispatched to the report of an assault and determined two additional victims were walking in the area when they were struck by the suspect discharging a paintball gun from a vehicle. One victim self-transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The suspect vehicle is described as a silver, older model four door sedan. There are no suspect descriptions at this time. The investigation is ongoing.

One of the victims posted about the incident on a local Facebook group.

“Crystal City folks, watch out,” the victim posted. “Some idiots shot us with souped up paintball guns tonight…. this happened at the corner of 15th St and S Eads St.”

She added that it happened while walking home from the nearby Whole Foods store.

More on what transpired, from the victim’s post:

We suddenly heard what sounded like rapid gunfire. Immediately my ear got hit, [my husband’s] chest did too. We then kept getting hit all over non stop. With the adrenaline rushing we had no idea what was happening and thought we had really been shot, luckily it was only paintballs! We eventually see where it’s coming from, which was a car full of idiots shooting a souped up paintball gun and we were their targets. We tried to take cover behind a van but they turned down another road and started tearing into us again until we were out of their sight. […] They lit us up pretty good, the pictures don’t show how bad the bruises/welts are. My back and knee are covered. [My husband’s] wrist and shoulder got hit as well. One pic shows how close they got to my eye.  It’s ridiculous that people think this is funny. Now that our adrenaline has calmed down we are thankful it wasn’t worse, but hope they find these punks before they do real damage.

Hat tip to Alan Henney

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(Updated at 11:20 p.m.) Arlington County police are investigating a possible shooting in the Ashton Heights neighborhood near Ballston.

The investigation seems to be centered around the intersection of N. Piedmont Street and 5th Street N., about two blocks from Mosaic Park to the north and the Buckingham Center shopping strip to the south.

The gunfire happened around 3:45 p.m. Multiple people called 911 to report hearing 2-3 shots fired and seeing an SUV fleeing from the scene, along with a man fleeing on foot, according to scanner traffic.

So far no injuries have been reported, but officers say they found some broken glass, potentially from the SUV’s back window.

Photo via Google Maps

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Two people were arrested along Columbia Pike today after a man was shot to death Saturday morning a few blocks away.

Arlington County police say a 46-year-old woman has been charged with murder and a 48-year-old man was charged with conspiracy to commit murder in connection to the death of 45-year-old D.C. resident Reginald Scott, who was found dead in a parked car.

The suspects were arrested Sunday morning at a bus stop at Columbia Pike and S. Quincy Street. Witnesses described to ARLnow a “heavy police presence and crime scene tape” across a two-block stretch of the Pike after the arrests.

Scott was found dead about four blocks, shortly before 8 a.m. Saturday, inside a car that was parked in a business parking lot on the 3600 block of the Pike.

No motive for the killing has been released.

More on today’s arrest from an ACPD press release:

The preliminary investigation into the suspicious death indicates the victim, Reginald Scott, 45, of Washington D.C., suffered an apparent gunshot wound. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine cause and manner of death. This incident is being investigated as a homicide.

During the course of the investigation, detectives developed possible suspect descriptions based on evidence located at the scene and witness interviews. Arrest warrants were obtained and the suspects were located near a bus stop at Columbia Pike and S. Quincy Street on the morning of February 27. They were taken into custody without incident. April Puckett, 46, of No Fixed Address has been charged with Murder, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. James Harris, 48, of No Fixed Address has been charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder. The suspects are being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

Detectives continue to investigate the events that preceded the homicide. Anyone with information that may assist with this investigation is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected]

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Gavel (Flickr photo by Joe Gratz)

An Arlington County jury found a 66-year-old man guilty on Monday of killing his son in Green Valley in 2020.

Marshall Stephens Jr., 45, was found alone in his vehicle in the 1900 block of S. Lowell Street with a single gunshot wound to the back of his head on April 23, 2020. His father — Marshall Stephens — was found guilty of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Stephens, who is scheduled to be sentenced April 1, faces a minimum of 20 years in prison and maximum of life behind bars for the murder charge and a minimum of three years for the firearm charge, prosecutors say.

“While there is nothing we can do to bring back Marshall Stephens, Jr., we are grateful for the jury’s verdict and attention to this case,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti. “We hope this helps bring some level of closure to the surviving victims as they continue their difficult healing process.”

The full press release from the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney is below.

On Monday January 24, 2022, an Arlington County jury unanimously found Marshall Stephens, 66, guilty of first degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Stephens was found guilty in connection with the April 23, 2020, shooting of his 45-year-old son, Marshall Stephens, Jr. in the Green Valley neighborhood of Arlington. The victim was found alone in his vehicle, with a single gunshot wound to the back of his head.

Successful prosecution was possible because of a careful investigation on the part of the Arlington County Police Department and collaboration between ACPD and the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

“While there is nothing we can do to bring back Marshall Stephens, Jr., we are grateful for the jury’s verdict and attention to this case,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti. “We hope this helps bring some level of closure to the surviving victims as they continue their difficult healing process.”

First degree murder carries a statutory minimum sentence of 20 years and a maximum of life in prison; use of a firearm in the commission of a felony carries a statutory minimum sentence of 3 years.

Stephens is scheduled to be sentenced on April 1, 2022, in the Arlington County Circuit Court.

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Morning Notes

Local Man Charged in Bailey’s Xroads Shooting — “Fairfax County police have charged a 33-year-old Arlington man in connection with a shooting that occurred Nov. 20 at the Food Star supermarket at 5521 Leesburg Pike. According to police, officers were called to the store at 6:43 p.m. by Harvey Coleman, of Arlington, after he reported to police he had shot someone in self-defense… Following several interviews and the review of surveillance footage, detectives have charged Coleman with malicious wounding and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.” [Sun Gazette]

Ice Cream Store Now Open in Pentagon City — “Have I got a scoop (get it?) for my followers! For those who may be in search of a sweet treat this afternoon, Mimi’s Handmade Ice Cream opened today at ⁦@PentagonRow⁩ (Westpost). Impressive variety.” [Twitter]

Arlington Vet Chooses Health Career — “After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, she was commissioned as an Army officer and chose to attend flight training, following in her late father’s footsteps. Soon, she was soon piloting Blackhawk helicopters… it was the time she was in the military that really prepared her for physician-assistant school.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Monday — Today will be mostly sunny, with a high near 46. Northwest wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph. Sunrise at 7:06 a.m. and sunset at 4:47 p.m. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 51. South wind 5 to 8 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Dark clouds move across the region, seen from the Shirlington pedestrian bridge over I-395 (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Reduced Metro Service Continues — “Metro continues working to finalize plans in cooperation with safety officials to return the 7000-series railcars to passenger service and fully restore its rail system. As a result, Metrorail service will remain at the current reduced service levels through at least October 31, 2021. During this time, trains will operate basic service every 15-20 minutes on the Red Line and every 30-40 minutes on all other lines.” [WMATA]

APS Online Learning Update — “Arlington Public Schools leaders say they have triaged some of the most pressing fallout from a rocky rollout of the new online-learning initiative, but still have steps to take to ensure the program meets its promises to students and their families. ‘We have had a lot of regretful growing pains – that has been bad,’ frustrated School Board member Cristina Diaz-Torres said after an Oct. 14 update on the situation.” [Sun Gazette]

Charges Dismissed in Police Shooting — “A federal judge in Alexandria on Friday dismissed all criminal charges against two U.S. Park Police officers who fatally shot unarmed motorist Bijan Ghaisar in 2017, saying that they reasonably feared that one of the officers was in danger and that their actions following a pursuit of Ghaisar were ‘necessary and proper.’ Prosecutors for the Virginia Attorney General’s Office and the Fairfax County commonwealth’s attorney said they would appeal the ruling.” [Washington Post]

It’s Monday — ⛈ A chance of showers between 2-5 p.m., then showers and thunderstorms — some potentially strong, with heavy rain — in the evening. Partly sunny, with a high near 77. South wind 6 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Sunrise at 7:27 a.m. and sunset at 6:15 p.m. Tomorrow, it will be mostly cloudy and breezy, with a chance of showers and thunderstorms and a high near 65.

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Morning Notes

Rosslyn skyline, with Tysons in the background (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Update on Shirlington Area Shooting — “At approximately 9:40 a.m., police were dispatched to the report of a shooting in the 4400 block of 31st Street S. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect approached the area in a vehicle, exited and fired shots towards two individuals sitting outside a residential building. The suspect then reentered the vehicle and fled the scene. No injuries were reported.” [ACPD]

Passenger Recounts Metro Derailment — From NBC 4’s Adam Tuss: “EXCLUSIVE — we talk to a passenger tonight who was on last week’s derailed Blue Line Metro train. Noelle Purcell says there was smoke, no communication, and she didn’t know if she was going to make it out.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Beyer Pushes for More Buses — From WAMU’s Jordan Pascale: “Rep. Don Beyer out with a statement telling WMATA to ‘maximize bus service’ as 7000-series sidelined for an undetermined amount of time… Metro says no go on bus increase, ‘all of our available operators and buses are already in service.'” [Twitter]

New Restaurant in Pentagon City –“The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Pentagon City has revamped its restaurant as a Mediterranean place that serves modern meze, small pours of glamorous Napa wines, and an espresso martini built with a brand of chocolate rum owned by Bruno Mars. Santé opened over the weekend at 1250 S. Hayes Street in Arlington, Virginia, for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner.” [Eater]

Unusual Protest Outside DEA — “A group called ‘Anonymous Apes’ placed a nine-foot monolith outside the Drug Enforcement Administration’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. The protest was staged by criminal justice and drug policy reform activists dressed in ape costumes who wanted to decry the DEA for preventing ‘research into the therapeutic uses of many natural plants and substances,’ the activists said to the District of Columbia Marijuana Justice Organization in a press release.” [NBC 4]

Spotted: Wienermobile — Arlington motorcycle officers spotted the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile while on patrol yesterday. [Twitter]

Howl-O-Ween in Rosslyn — “The Rosslyn BID and the Rosslyn Dog Owners Group (R-DOGS) are teaming up for a Halloween themed evening of dog-friendly activities, treats and fun in celebration of Rosslyn’s new Interim Dog Park at Gateway Park West! Beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday, October 22, Rosslyn’s pet community is invited to enjoy local pet-themed vendors, speakers, a social media dog costume contest and giveaways.” [Rosslyn BID]

It’s Thursday — ☀️ Today will be sunny and just about perfect, with a high near 77. Calm wind becoming south 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon. Sunrise at 7:24 a.m. and sunset at 6:21 p.m. Tomorrow will be cooler and partly sunny, with a high near 69.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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(Updated at 11 a.m.) Arlington police are investigating gunshots reportedly fired from a vehicle in the Shirlington area.

Described to first responders as a “drive-by shooting,” the incident happened around 9:30 a.m. on the stretch of 31st Street S. between the Shirlington and Fairlington neighborhoods.

The vehicle from which the shots were fired is described as a dark blue Toyota Prius. A lookout for the car was broadcast to police in neighboring jurisdictions.

So far there are no reports of anyone being struck by the gunfire.

Police are on scene investigating while medics stand by in case any gunshot victims are located.

Map via Google Maps

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An Arlington resident is facing multiple felony charges after police say he shot someone during a dispute in the Green Valley neighborhood over the weekend.

The Saturday night shooting was initially reported as just a “shots fired” call, but Arlington County police said today that a man was later found with a gunshot wound.

“At approximately 8:14 p.m., an officer on an unrelated call heard a series of shots fired in the 3200 block of 24th Street S.,” ACPD said in its initial press release. “Officers responded, established a perimeter and recovered evidence confirming multiple shots had been fired. The preliminary investigation has not confirmed any injuries related to this incident.”

The gunfire happened near the Shelton apartment building, the neighborhood’s still-under-construction “town square” park, and the grounds of Drew Elementary School.

In an update today the police department said the incident was, in fact, a shooting that stemmed from a dispute.

“During the course of the investigation, detectives determined a disagreement between parties preceded the incident and located a male victim who had suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound,” said ACPD. An arrest was made yesterday.

“A possible suspect description was developed based on the evidence and he was identified as Angelo Mobley, 29, of Arlington,” the police department said. “He was taken into custody on September 28, 2021 and charged with Malicious Wounding, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony and Discharge of a Firearm within 1000 Feet of a School. He is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.”

“This incident remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact police at 703-228-4180 or [email protected],” police added. “Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).”

Green Valley saw two reported incidents of shots being fired over the summer, including one that took place in the Drew Elementary parking lot.

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