Last night at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, hundreds of neighbors from the Braddock Road Metro neighborhood and across Alexandria, Virginia attended a community meeting led by the Alexandria Police Department (APD) that addressed the recent ‘shots fired’ calls, shootings and the first homicide of 2015.
APD called the meeting after Shakkan Elliott-Tibbs of Woodbridge was shot and killed last week in the 700 block of North Fayette Street, which is only a few blocks from where the meeting took place.
The meeting started out in the large meeting room but, organizers quickly realized a bigger room would be needed so they moved the meeting to the gymnasium. You can see more photos from the meeting at this link.
Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) CEO Roy Priest spoke on the steps ARHA is taking to make the development where the shooting occurred more safe and told the community ARHA has had discussions about moving a Police officer onto the site which is something APD did previously in years past. Mr. Priest did let the community know that ARHA had received proposal(s) about redeveloping the Adkins property where the homicide occurred but that nothing had been decided yet. He said ARHA and the City of Alexandria would be engaging the community on this possible redevelopment in the months ahead.
As readers know, APD addressed the recent string of ‘shots fired’ calls at this link. APD Deputy Chief Huchler told those assembled that APD made the decision to begin releasing notifications on the ‘shots fired’ calls in order to get the word on the street about them and to get the public’s help in solving them. The Deputy Chief told those assembled that APD, through their investigations, had determined that the shootings are all related to about the same dozen people and mentioned that APD had made approximately a half-dozen arrests in the recent ‘shots fired’ cases and were following leads that should result in more.
A BIG reason for last night’s meeting, according to Deputy Chief Huchler, was that APD knows there are witnesses to the recent homicide and APD wants to engage the neighborhood in order to get those folks to come forward and help them solve the case.
“We are asking for your assistance” said deputy chief David Huchler. “We know there’s people who saw it.”
Linda Tibbs, the victims mother, encouraged witnesses to come forward and spoke very emotionally about her son. She said that her son was in Alexandria on a summer school break.
“I hope that somebody will take heed to what I’m saying and feel the need to come forth,” she said.
While APD was very forthcoming, APD could not answer all questions related to the recent homicide due to the ongoing investigation. Deputy Chief Huchler did mention APD was following a number of leads in the case though and he reviewed the Strategic Response System (SRS) with the community and how it helps APD be more efficient in their policing.
A bit of the discussion was about personal relationships in the community. Mayor Bill Euille as well as Deputy Chief Huchler encouraged residents to come out to the 32nd National Night Out (NNO), held this year on Tuesday, August 4. National Night Out is an anti-crime and drug prevention event held each year in Alexandria and across the country and is an extraordinary way to build neighborhood unity and strengthen police-community partnerships. You can see our post on last year’s NNO event at this link.
There was a very moving end to the meeting when the community held hands during a prayer.