Man who pleaded guilty in July shooting sentenced

Man who pleaded guilty in July shooting sentenced
David Palmer, 18, of Alexandria, has been sentenced to 23 years of active incarceration for three counts of malicious wounding (Photo courtesy Alexandria Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney)

The teen who pleaded guilty in November to three counts of malicious wounding and three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a malicious wounding after a July incident has been sentenced. 

David Palmer, 18, of Alexandria, was sentenced to 23 years of active incarceration following his convictions. Palmer was indicted and sentenced as an adult, despite his being a juvenile at the time of the offenses on July 27, 2017, the Alexandria Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney announced in a news release Tuesday.

Evidence established Palmer was waiting outside of the East Howell Avenue residence of someone he had a disagreement with on July 27 when the resident returned home in a vehicle with two additional passengers. Palmer walked toward the vehicle and opened fire with a handgun, firing approximately 15 rounds into the vehicle as it drove down East Howell.

All three occupants of the vehicle were struck by at least one round. The driver of the vehicle was shot in the face and the two passengers were shot in the arm and back, respectively. The vehicle crashed as the defendant repeatedly fired at them. The defendant then fled the scene and initially succeeded in his escape attempt. However, Alexandria Police Department detectives identified him and arrested him.

The defendant is sentenced to a total of 73 years of incarceration with the Virginia Department of Corrections, with all but 23 years of the sentence suspended. He will be, upon his release, under supervised probation for 10 years and must remain on uniform good behavior for 20 years.

“This case, in which a violent felon brazenly placed lives at risk during broad daylight, caused a quiet neighborhood to be shaken by sudden violence. Compounding the fear was the timing of these crimes, coming just a month after the unspeakable horror of the Simpson Field shooting that occurred just blocks away. I am thankful in the gunplay in this case did not result in more serious injuries or death,” Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter said in a statement.

“I hope that the significant sentence imposed in this case will bring a modicum of relief both to the victims and to the community. The outcome of this case illustrates an important point: my office, the Alexandria Police Department and the community will not tolerate random violence in the city,” Porter continued in the release.

The defendant is being held in the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center until he is transferred to the Alexandria Adult Detention Center.