Military Couple Both Doctors Murdered in Their Own Yard
A husband and wife, both military veterans, were shot to death in their front yard in Springfield Wednesday morning, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. Police said two suspects have been arrested.
Police said they believe the deaths are connected to a dispute or burglary at the house that they were called to just two days earlier. Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said the victims were "viciously shot and killed up close at point-blank range" outside their home in the 8000 block of Flint Street.
On Thursday, Fairfax County released a photo of one of the men they believe is responsible: 20-year-old Ronnie Keandre Marshall. They also said the Nissan Altima that police called a "vehicle of interest" was found in Springfield.
Police identified the man and woman killed as 55-year-old Edward McDaniel Jr., and his 63-year-old wife, Brenda McDaniel.
Edward McDaniel was currently an active duty full-bird colonel in the U.S. Army. It is not known at this time which branch of the military Brenda McDaniel served in. Major Ed O'Carroll of Fairfax Police described both victims as "physicians" and "honorable soldiers."
The shooting happened just after 9 a.m. in the 8000 block of Flint Street, police said. There were family members inside the home when the shooting happened, Davis said. Everyone that was in the home has been relocated to a safe place. Davis said one of the people inside the home may be the son of the victims.
The motive for the shooting remains unknown, but police said they believe the same suspect connected to Monday's burglary at the home committed Wednesday's double murder.
"The shooter or shooters, we strongly believe, are known to a relative of our two victims," Davis said. "I can tell you this, this was not a random act of violence, not at all."
Officers said the suspect fled the scene in a silver or white 2018 Nissan Altima with Maryland tags 1EF-1479. At this point, police have not revealed a suspect description.
"We think he’s likely still local, and we think someone has seen the car," Davis said. "I'm not prepared to closely identify who we think it might be, but we're actively working a person of interest."
Neighbors said friends of the son have been involved in trouble in the neighborhood before.
"The teenage kids, their friends are bad people," Carlos Buendia, who lives just a few doors down from where the shooting happened, said. "They bring weapons into the neighborhood."
Neighbor Juliana Buendia said she was shocked this incident happened in her neighborhood but said she's sadly not surprised at where the crime happened.
"You never really see people coming and going," she said. "It’s the only house where we don’t know anybody who lives here.”
Police said some neighbors witnessed the shooting, while others reported seeing the couple walking their dog right before the shooting.
"Nice people," neighbor Frank Breen said. "We used to talk every time they come around walking with the dogs.”
This incident makes the ninth and 10th homicide in Fairfax County this year.
"We are going to work non-stop until we get the person or persons to justice," Davis said.
Police are offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person or persons involved in the crime. If you see the Nissan Altima with Maryland tags, call 911, as the suspect is believed to be armed and dangerous.