Fairfax Co. police to hold community meetings on recent gang shootings

“Put down your devices. Put your head on a swivel [while] behind the wheel and while you’re out on the pathways, the sidewalks, crossing the streets,” Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler said in announcing more people had died in pedestrian crashes than had been murdered. (WTOP/Kristi King)(WTOP/Kristi King)
Fairfax County police will hold two community meetings this week to talk about the investigations into a rash of gang-related shootings in the county this month.

Meetings will be held Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Gum Springs Community Center, at 8100 Fordson Road, Alexandria; and Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Rose Hill Elementary School, at 6301 Rose Hill Drive, Alexandria.

The police will take questions and update residents on a series of shootings they say are gang-related that began July 1, when two juveniles were shot at a playground on Fordson Court.

On July 2, a man was found shot outside a studio on Telegraph Road, then two more a few minutes later on James Drive; the police said they think a February shooting at the studio is also gang-related.

On the night of July 3, a man was shot at the same Fordson Court playground where the July 1 shooting happened.

No one has been killed in these shootings, but police Chief Edwin Roessler said at an earlier community meeting that he isn’t waiting for that to happen.

“It’s only a matter of time, if we don’t stop this, that someone walking by or driving by is going to get hit by a stray bullet,” Roessler said at a meeting Saturday, police said in a statement. “And we’re not going to have that here in our county. We’re doing everything we can to bring these people to justice.”

Roessler added, “Where we need your help is through the eyes and ears you have to look over the shoulder of your children,” at the Highland Park Pool and Tennis Club, according to the police. “Gang activity is done through the devices in their hand.”

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Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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