Shelter in Place Lifted, Gunman Sought After Shots Fired in Bailey’s Crossroads – NBC4 Washington

Police in Fairfax County, Virginia, lifted a shelter-in-place order in the Bailey’s Crossroads area several hours after someone opened fire into a shopping center parking lot Friday morning. No injuries were reported, but at least two cars were hit.

The shelter in place was lifted about 5 p.m.

Leesburg Pike (Route 7) was closed in the area around Bailey’s Crossroads in Falls Church, police said. It was reopened shortly before 5 p.m. South Jefferson Street also was closed, along with anywhere that additional shots potentially could strike people.

Based on original information from witnesses, police believed high-caliber shots were fired from a high rise. They since have recovered pistol rounds from two vehicles that were parked and unoccupied.

Families ran for safety, some businesses locked down, and teenagers on their school lunch break spent hours inside a Starbucks, telling their parents and friends by text that they loved them.

“They came in and told everyone, ‘Go to the back, stay to the side. Someone has a rifle and is shooting from one of the buildings directly in front of the Starbucks,’” one teen girl said.

“I was sending my ‘I love you’ texts to my parents and all my friends and stuff. You just never think something that bad is going to happen to you until it does,” another girl said.

In the tower, officers searched for the shooter, going floor by floor. On the ground, officers were “behind cover in any place where there is any kind of line of sight from where we believe the rounds may have come from,” Lt. Daniel Spital said.

Police analyzed the potential trajectory of the bullets to figure out exactly where the shooter could be.

“We are certainly trying to figure out exactly where that shot may have come from,” Spital said. 

Two people were outside a car near a Starbucks in the shopping center in the 3500 block of S. Jefferson Street when they heard glass from the car breaking, Spital said. They heard two more rounds hit the car, and they took cover. They called 911 at about 11:15 a.m.

Officers found what they believe were high-powered rifle rounds in the car, Spital said. A dispatcher told responders: “Attention all units, all units on scene of the weapon, make sure you have substantial cover; it’s confirmed that the damage came from a high-powered rifle.”

Shell casings since recovered from the scene, however, revealed the shots came from a handgun.

No additional shots have been reported to police.

“There have been no shots fired since police’s arrival. So, it is not an active shooter event at this time,” Spital said.

Police do not have surveillance video of the shooting as of 5:20 p.m. Friday, but they said they are following up on active leads.

The area includes a number of stores and restaurants.

Chopper4 reporter Brad Freitas said emergency vehicles could be seen flooding into the area, including several police cars near food trucks. Only limited, non-emergency traffic could be seen moving, and few pedestrians were out.

With major roads shut down, a typical 10-minute wait for a bus took an hour.

Anyone with potentially relevant information is asked to contact police. 

This is a developing news story. Please refresh for updates.