Police continue to investigate Bailey’s Crossroads shooting, shelter-in-place lifted

An armored vehicle is seen behind police lines in Bailey’s Crossroads as officers investigate a shooting on Sept. 23, 2022. (NBC4/Drew Wilder)

A shelter-in-place has ended in the Bailey’s Crossroads area of Fairfax County, Virginia, after gunfire struck two unoccupied vehicles in a parking lot on Friday morning.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, officers were called to the vicinity of South Jefferson Street and Va. Route 7 around 11:15 a.m. Friday after bystanders heard shots fired and car windows shattered outside a Starbucks.

For much of the afternoon, a multi-agency police response searched for the gunfire’s origin. FCPD Lt. Daniel Spital said that what detectives initially thought were “high-powered rifle rounds” found at the scene were determined to have been fired from a handgun.

No one was injured.

Spital said early witness reports of gunfire coming from an elevated position, along with the possible involvement of a rifle, led police to request the surrounding community shelter-in-place. Forensic analysis later revealed two rounds found inside two separate vehicles were pistol rounds, likely fired from somewhere on the ground.

“We no longer believe it was a high-powered rifle round, we believe it was a pistol round, which changes our analysis, and we no longer believe it was from an elevated position,” Spital told WTOP.

Law enforcement searched a high-rise apartment complex across the street on Seminary Road, where the shots were at first thought to have come from. Armored police vehicles from Fairfax and Arlington counties were seen in the area. For much of the afternoon, a Fairfax County police helicopter circled above the Northern Virginia neighborhood.

Investigators do not believe any specific individual was targeted in the shooting, Spital said in a news briefing late Friday. Police remained on scene trying to determine where the shots were fired from, and Spital asked for the public to report any suspicious activity.

“While you still see a heavy police presence in the area, it’s just because our investigation continues,” Spital said. “We do have some active leads that we are following up on. We do not have a suspect at this time, but we are still combing through a lot of evidence, and we’re asking for the public’s help.”

WTOP's Kristi King describes the scene from Bailey's Crossroads on Friday evening.

WTOP’s Kristi King reported life in Bailey’s Crossroads was returning to normal on Friday evening. The WTOP Traffic Center said Va. Route 7 reopened around 5:30 p.m. following a five-hour closure between Carlin Springs Road and George Mason Drive.

“It had looked much like a ghost town, but it’s sprung back to life,” King said. “Roads in the area of Leesburg Pike and South Jefferson Street are bustling with traffic, there no longer is a shelter-in-place, people are no longer asked to avoid the area.”

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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