‘Help us find that car:’ Police say car is key in Springfield double shooting investigation

Police in Fairfax County, Virginia, are asking the public to help them find a car that they believe is key in the investigation into the fatal double shooting of a husband and wife.

Fairfax County police identified the victims as Edward McDaniel Jr., 55, and Brenda McDaniel, 63, both of Springfield. Both were military doctors, and Edward McDaniel was still active with the Army as a colonel.

The shooting happened Wednesday on the 8000 block of Flint Street near Redman Street just before 9:30 a.m.

Police Chief Kevin Davis said the McDaniels were shot and killed “in cold blood.”

“We’re going to work very hard until we bring the folks responsible for this crime to justice,” Davis said.

To do that, police need the community’s help in finding a car that was seen in the area of the shooting. They believe the car is still in the D.C. area.

“I will say that that’s key, the key is the car; but ultimately the key is the shooter or a second person,” Maj. Ed O’Carroll, bureau chief of Major Crimes Cyber and Forensics for Fairfax County police, said in a news conference Wednesday night.

Police said they are looking for a 2018 light-colored Nissan Altima with Maryland tags 1EF1479.

“We have confirmation that it fled the scene. We want that vehicle. It’s part of our double homicide investigation,” O’Carroll said.

Police said that anyone with information on the vehicle or who have seen the vehicle should call 911.

“The person responsible or the persons responsible for today’s double homicide are not in custody. And we need the community’s help,” O’Carroll said, adding that the weapon or weapons used in the shooting have not been recovered and the suspect or suspects should be considered armed and dangerous.

Fairfax County police have reached out to their National Capital Region Partners, and there is a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Police had previously been at the residence on Monday actively working an investigation, O’Connor confirmed.

“We do believe Monday’s response is directly connected with today’s tragedy, and that vehicle is associated with the double homicide,” O’Connor said. “I think there’s a direct correlation, to who was there Monday was there today.”

O’Connor said police have not defined a motive for the shooting, but he said they are getting closer to identifying the suspect or suspects.

“We’ve used plural terms, suspect or suspects, and I think that’s pretty clear. As we know there’s two people that have fled that scene. It is still an active investigation to determine if one or both individuals were involved in homicide. What’s key to this investigation is that car, and to our community: Help us find that car,” O’Connor said.

Police also found two people in the home who were not physically harmed. Earlier in the day, Davis said authorities believe the “shooter or shooters” are “known to a relative of our two victims.”

Police say anyone with information should call them at 703-691-2131.

Below is a map showing the location of the shooting.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that the husband and wife are the only victims.

WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this story.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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