Residents of several Springfield neighborhoods have forged a wary existence, thanks to an unknown BB-gun shooter who has caused more than $20,000 in property damage and injured a teenage boy over the past six weeks.
According to the Fairfax County Police Department, at least 63 vehicles have incurred damage from incidents in which a BB gun has been involved in the destruction of personal property, dating back to Aug. 8. Nearly all of the incidents have occurred in neighborhoods between Old Keene Mill Road and I-495, west of I-95.
"In a small way, it makes you uneasy that someone's out there doing it," said Springfield resident Louis Lee, whose neighborhood has been hit several times. "There’s violence everywhere. It’s a low grade of it, but it’s a cancer to the neighborhood."
In addition to property damage, a teenage boy was shot in the leg with a BB gun on Aug. 17, and on Sept. 12, three vehicles were shot at while being driven.
"I would say it's becoming more brazen," said Officer Shelley Broderick of the Fairfax County Police. "You start by shooting at windows of parked cars, then you move to shooting a person, then you shoot at vehicles which are occupied and driving down the road."
Two of the three incidents involving moving vehicles occurred on Valley View Road near Franconia Road, and the third took place at Backlick Road and Floyd Avenue. In those incidents, windows were shot out, but no one was injured.
"Because they are in the same area, detectives feel very comfortable saying they are related," said Broderick.
Michele Biancaniello, a George Mason student who lives with his parents, Stefano and Veronica Biancaniello, in the same neighborhood as Lee, said as long as the perpetrators remain at large, the incidents have changed his neighborhood.
"It’s a paranoid street. It makes people a lot more distrustful," said Biancaniello.
Fairfax County Crime Solvers is offering a $1,000 cash reward for information leading to an arrest. To make an anonymous tip, call the Crime Solvers' hot line at 1-800-673-2777.