Community Crime News __Featured Slider — 06 February 2014
Breaking: Shooting leaves one dead, another injured; police hunt for gunman

Updated 5:29 p.m.

One of the victims of Thursday’s shooting along the 2400 block of Ridge Road has died, Police Chief Earl Cook said at an evening press conference not far from the scene of the crime.

Ruthanne Lodato, 59, of Alexandria, succumbed to her injuries at an area hospital where doctors were treating her for a gunshot wound. Authorities said Lodato and another individual, a caretaker who worked at the home, were shot after answering the door. Police responded after receiving a call about 11:30 a.m.

A third person was in the house at the time – and survived unscathed –  but officials have not released any information about that individual.

It’s remains unclear what prompted the attack. Cook said there is no indication the shooter knew Lodato. They are treating the case as a homicide, he said.

The gunman remains at large, and officials added a few new details to their description of him at Thursday evening’s press conference. An older, white male, the suspected shooter is balding and has a full beard, police said.

Cook said that although police believe there is no direct threat to neighbors, residents must be careful.

“We encourage people to do things to keep their home safe: keep your doors lock, lock your vehicles and make sure you know who is at your door,” Cook said. “We’re concerned, and residents should be concerned.”

Updated 2:17 p.m. (Photo/Susan Hale Thomas)

City police say they are searching for an older, white man with gray hair in connection with Thursday morning’s shooting along the 2400 block of Ridge Road.

Authorities confirmed the suspect shot two people at a residence after they answered a knock at the door. One lived in the home, police said. The other worked there. Their names and ages were not released.

The resident – who remains in critical condition – is undergoing surgery at a local hospital. The second victim is hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries, police said.

While the gunman remains at large, officials said they do not believe residents are at risk. No details about the gunman’s firearm were released.

Updated 1:54 p.m. 

Officials with Alexandria City Public Schools have lifted the lockdown on six of the district’s buildings following Thursday morning’s shooting on the 2400 block of Ridge Road.

Alexandria police are expected to update reporters on the attack shortly.

Updated 1:03 p.m.

Police are investigating a shooting on the 2400 block of Ridge Road that has left two people hospitalized.

Few details were immediately available, but Alexandria Police Department spokeswoman Crystal Nosal said it appears an individual knocked on the door of a residence and then opened fire when the occupants answered. At this point, it’s not clear what prompted the attack, Nosal said, and authorities are looking at possible connections between the shooter and the residents.

The shooter remains at large, she said. Police do not yet have a description of the individual.

Alexandria City Public Schools officials have put six of its buildings in lockdown: Matthew Maury, George Mason, Charles Barrett and Douglas MacArthur elementary schools as well as T.C. Williams High School and its nearby Minnie Howard campus. The move is a precaution, said Tammy Ignacio, the district’s chief administrative officer.

“We are just working very closely in guidance with the police department. We don’t have any reason to believe the situation is related to our schools,” she said.

Worried parents should remember their children are in safe hands, Ignacio said. Though she understands many may wish to pick their children up, they should stay in place until the situation is resolved.

“What we really want … to do is remind them that their kids are safe,” Ignacio said. “I know [parents] want to come and pick them up, but that’s not what we want them to do. We want them to stay in their homes and be safe.”

The post will be updated with any additional forthcoming details.

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(2) Readers Comments

  1. Chris,

    This is what I found….

    Benita

  2. How can the police deal with violent crimes like this when the city keeps cutting their budget?

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