Fairfax Co. police ID senior man shot, killed in Falls Church ATM robbery

The case of the senior man who was shot during an ATM robbery in Falls Church, Virginia, has been upgraded to a homicide investigation after the 73-year old victim died of his injuries.

Police identified the victim as Nelson Daniel Alexander Sr., of Falls Church, who was known among friends and family as “Cooty Bird”. That announcement was made at a press conference Saturday afternoon in front of the Wells Fargo ATM in Falls Church, where the deadly Oct. 20 shooting occurred.

Police Chief Kevin Davis and Major Edward O’Carroll, the head of the Special Crimes unit, began the press conference with an appeal for the shooting suspect to turn himself in.

“It didn’t have to end like this, but it did,” Davis said. “The young man who took his life, knows what he did… Be a human. Be a person. Be a man and turn yourself in.”

Davis also said, he would prefer the pursuit of the shooting suspect to end peacefully.

“He’s young. He’s probably scared. And it might even be the first time he ever fired his gun,” the police chief said.

Major Carroll took a moment to encourage the shooter to turn himself in, rather than wait for the police to find him.

“You can turn yourself in on your terms, or you can be captured on ours,” Carroll said.

Earlier in the day, Fairfax County police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, had tweeted an appeal for leads on the shooting suspect, who had been caught on security camera during the robbery.

At Saturday’s press conference, Chief Davis said he was “confident we will find our man, but we need the community’s help.”

A release by FCPD Saturday evening stated detectives on the case believe the suspect “may have been involved in other criminal activity overnight” on October 20. They ask community members that have security cameras installed in their home or business review footage from the late hours of Oct.19 into the early morning of Oct. 20.

If you have any information or if you believe you have surveillance footage that may be helpful, FCPD asks you call their Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 2.

Fairfax County police used the video footage from the ATM complex to help ascertain the events leading up to the fatal shooting.

On October 20, at 5:20 a.m., Alexander was standing at an ATM in the 2900 block of Annandale Road just off of Arlington Boulevard, when a masked man came up behind him and announced a robbery, police said.

“He is startled to the extent that he just drops his wallet. And his credit cards spill out of his wallet. And then we also believe that our victim pivots and turns in an effort to enter a PIN number into the ATM machine while he’s being held at gunpoint,” Davis said.

Then, Davis said, the suspect shot the victim once in the chest for no apparent reason.

On Wednesday, FCPD had released these images of the robbery in progress:

“Our shooter doesn’t take his property, doesn’t take his cash and doesn’t take his car. He shoots our victim, either flees on foot, or he jumps into a getaway car that may have been captured in the ATM video, and we’re still working through that right now,” Davis said.

According to the police, the victim was not discovered until 6:15 a.m., nearly an hour after the shooting.

FCPD says the case is being investigated as the 19th homicide year to date in Fairfax County.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report.

Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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