The Alexandria Police Department continues to actively investigate a recent increase in weapons offenses involving shots fired. Although there have been the same number of incidents of this type during the first nine months of 2019 and 2020, there have been significantly more incidents in recent weeks than during the same period last year.
“While there is no acceptable level of gun crime, we are especially concerned about recent incidents in which conflicts between people have escalated to the use of firearms,” said Police Chief Michael L. Brown. “As we continue to make progress in these cases, we ask for the public’s help in providing any available information.”
Due to the active investigations related to these incidents, the Police Department is limited in what information can be released to the public at this time. The Police Department has made arrests and recovered weapons, drugs, vehicles and other evidence in several of these cases. Most recently, police executed a search warrant in Old Town on October 1 as part of the investigations.
Of the 16 incidents in August and September 2020 involving shots fired, investigators have ruled out at least seven as having any connection to each other. These include two unrelated incidents involving neighbors, a domestic dispute, an accidental self-inflicted injury, and a robbery. One incident involved the arrest of a person who fired shots, with no victims or witnesses located. Also included is the September 30 homicide of John Pope, 57, of Alexandria. Police have identified a person of interest in that case, which remains under active investigation.
Detectives are working to determine whether any of the other nine incidents may be related, and to apprehend all those responsible. Several involved property damage and one involved a non-life-threatening injury. Five occurred in Old Town, and the Police Department has significantly increased patrol presence in those areas. The remaining four incidents occurred in different parts of Alexandria.
Anyone with information about these incidents is urged to contact Detective John Brattelli at 703.746.6699. Information may be provided anonymously.