Wythe Street homicide

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Gunfire sent Wythe Street residents out of their homes to find Alexandrian Bob Cory McNeely, 40, lying in his own blood the night of October 20. 

He is the city’s first homicide victim of 2011.

“We heard the noise and come to the front door, being nosey,” said resident Melissa Talbart. “He was laying on the ground when we came outside. We knew. We instantly knew.”

Police do not have any suspects in the homicide, said Jody Donaldson, department spokesman, but are running down their leads.

McNeely had suffered a gunshot wound to the upper body, according to city police, when he came running off the street and into the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority community about 10:10 p.m. He collapsed on a front lawn a short while later. 

Resident Larry Holmes joined his neighbors outside minutes after and found McNeely sprawled out on the ground. Like Talbart, he had known McNeely for much of his life. Their sons had grown up as friends, he said the next morning, standing not far from the bloodstained grass marking where McNeely fell. 

“I was standing right here, calling his name,” Holmes said. “He looked at me and threw up the deuces sign.” 

Authorities arrived minutes later and transported McNeely to Fairfax Inova Hospital, where he succumbed to his injury. They initially listed his death as “suspicious” but designated it a murder after an autopsy confirmed his death was a result of a fatal gunshot wound. 

Talbart and Holmes recalled McNeely as a “good person.” While McNeely was acquainted with some residents of the 1200 block of Wythe St., he did not live in the neighborhood, Holmes said.

“[McNeely] kept you laughing,” Holmes said. “He cared about the kids … We’re taking it hard.”

“He never had issues with anybody,” Talbart said.

McNeely’s death is Alexandria’s first murder since Simon Asfeha Bahta brutally stabbed his estranged girlfriend and their 3-year-old daughter in a West End apartment in April 2010. 

McNeely’s murder remains under investigation by city detectives, Donaldson said.

Gunshots aren’t unknown in the neighborhood where McNeely collapsed, but it’s a rarity, Talbart said. She recalled hearing at least two, maybe three, shots fired before glancing out her front door. 

Authorities urge anyone with information regarding the incident to contact police at the department’s criminal investigations section at 703-838-4444 or 703-746-6711.

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