Late Saturday night a car came through downtown Herndon, shooting a BB gun at objects and passers by. One person was confirmed hit outside Jimmy's Old Town Tavern at Elden and Spring streets.
Herndon Police Information Officer, Sgt. Jerry Keys, said there was possibly more than one BB-shooting case, although the police were still looking into it. He also said he had heard Loudoun County had experienced a similar situation, but the information was not confirmed.
"There were [many] descriptions of the car," said Keys of vehicle, adding some people said it was a black Honda, others said it was a white car, and some even said it was red.
HERNDON POLICE Lt. Don Amos on Monday said two people had been hit by the BBs, one being an off-duty officer near Crestview Avenue, as well as parked cars targeted near Ferndale Avenue, although Keys said he couldn't confirm that statement.
Inside Jimmy's Old Town Tavern, where the window looks out to the corner of Spring and Elden streets, there are now two pieces of plywood, sporting an American flag and a Buffalo Bills NFL flag for decoration, while the glass is cut for the window.
"I need a new window, new tinting, new logo, gonna cost me 'bout a grand," said owner Jimmy Cirrito.
Next to the empty window is a handmade sign, courtesy of Cirrito, the sign mimics a "wanted" poster, reading:
"Wanted: Some punk with a BB Gun, driving a mid-90s Honda Civic/Accord (black vehicle) with a left rear spare tire! Love, Jimmy and Brian."
Cirrito said, based on what witnesses told him, around 11:30 p.m. Saturday night, a black Honda, with a rear-spare tire, pulled up and shot a BB gun in the direction of his bar, hitting a man sitting on a bench in the stomach. Cirrito said the man hit, a member of the Marine Corps, ran after the car, adding that witnesses thought they saw four heads in the car.
Keys said that some witnesses did say they saw a black Honda at the time of the shooting that hit a trash can outside of Jimmy's, the pedestrian and then the window, but that it hadn't been confirmed.
"I'm not sure if that information is right," he said, adding that there were two, possibly three, other BB-gun shooting incidents that evening.
"IF THEY FIND the guy I'm gonna try and get my money back," said Cirrito, adding otherwise he won't be compensated.
"The Jimmy's incident — that will be assault because someone was actually struck," said Keys, saying the other incidents involved cars, but that police were actively searching for the culprits.
Keys added that, although this drive-by BB shooting is a new theme and not something the police have seen as a problem, there was a potential incident Aug. 9, where a vehicle in Worldgate was dented by what could have been a BB, but they don't know if it is related.
"We're trying to keep an eye out for various descriptions of the vehicle," said Keys. "In cases like this, it's usually kids in cars, so we'll be looking for that, and looking at the Loudoun cases to see if they are connected."
Keys said the case is being filed as a simple assault because a person was hit by the bullet, but that it could possibly be moved up to a malicious wounding charge. He said the maximum consequences for the simple assault charge could result in 365 days in jail and a fine of $2,500.
"The [victim] suffered a welt from the BB, it didn't break through the skin," said Keys. "But that's not to say that if it hadn't fired at a different location it wouldn't have done more damage."
AS FAR AS CIRRITO is concerned, he said he was glad the shooting wasn't a direct action against him for possibly throwing someone out one night, and that he was thankful to those who helped him board up the broken window.
"I'm just happy I don't live in Florida and my house is caved in," said Cirrito. "It's just a silly little window."