Va. man charged in fatal shooting of stepdaughter’s boyfriend

A man who Fairfax County, Virginia, police said fatally shot his stepdaughter’s boyfriend during an argument last month is now in custody.

Fairfax County police got a tip Friday morning on where Terence Butler, 40, of Alexandria, may be found in D.C., officials said in a news conference Friday.

Butler is accused of shooting Raphael Pierce, 23, following an argument on Aug. 7 in an apartment in the 7400 block of Vernon Square in the Hybla Valley area.

Police said that Butler held a gathering in the apartment, and he and Pierce got into an argument that escalated into gunfire. Butler fled in a vehicle after firing a single shot that struck Pierce in his upper body, police said.

Butler is being held in D.C. and is awaiting extradition to Fairfax County, where he is facing charges of second-degree murder, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

This was the county’s 15th homicide to date, and police Chief Kevin Davis said during the news conference Friday that the department has closed 14 of 18 homicides in 2021.

Maj. Ed O’Carroll, with Fairfax County police, said the community needs to talk more about working through challenges.

“Families need to discuss when arguments and things of this nature start. It should not, shall not, resort to physical violence,” O’Carroll said.

Davis noted the lack of conflict resolution skills in society generally, particularly among families.

“There’s often a crisis. The crisis is resolved with access to a firearm and gunfire, murder. The inability to resolve simple conflict is certainly something that we’re grappling with in 2021,” Davis said.

Davis called on the community not to turn a blind eye and call for help if they see conflict brewing in their neighborhood.

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.

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