WASHINGTON — After a number of disturbing crimes, Prince William County leaders are trying to figure out what’s behind an uptick in violent crime.
“I want to make sure that this is not the beginning of a vicious trend,” says Corey Stewart, chairman of the Board of County Supervisors.
Violent crime dropped nearly 50 percent since 2007, but the county saw an increase last year.
“We’ve got to address it and find out if there’s a root cause,” Stewart says.
Stewart is outraged over the brutal murder of a young Woodbridge mother last month.
On Feb. 21, three gunman entered the store near Route 1 and Bel Air Road where 21-year-old Glenda Marisol Coca-Romero was working when they shot and killed her. A second woman who also worked at the store was shot and wounded. No property or money was taken.
“This vicious senseless crime in Woodbridge is shocking and should be a wake-up call to Prince William County and other jurisdictions,” he says.
Before Coca-Romero’s death, a major gang fight broke out in the Potomac Mills mall, he says.
Stewart is issuing a directive to investigate the problem to bring forces to bear to stem the rise in violence.
“I want to do what it takes to reverse it. And nip it in the bud,” he says.