On Monday, Sept. 11, two Sterling teenagers will be charged as adults in connection with July’s drive-by shootings in Sterling Park.
The teens, both 16, allegedly shot at five homes in the area of Aster Terrace, Holborn Court and North Argonne Avenue and hospitalized one man sleeping in his bedroom on Coventry Square. According to the Sheriff's Office, the Asian teen and Hispanic teen stole two firearms used in the drive-by shootings, in addition to jewelry and bullet casings, from a Cameron Court home on July 15.
The two teens have also been tied to the theft of a 1997 Toyota Corolla. The car was reported stolen from a North Amelia Street home at 10 p.m., July 18. Sheriff’s Office deputies recovered the car on Harry Byrd Highway, after being set on fire.
The Commonwealth Attorney's Office filed a written notice seven days before a juvenile court hearing on Wednesday, Aug. 30, to charge the teenage boys as adults due to the nature of the multiple offenses they are charged with, Commonwealth Attorney James Plowman said.
The juveniles have been charged with malicious wounding, five counts of missile into an occupied dwelling, five counts of reckless use of a firearm, one count of use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, burglary, auto theft and arson.
Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson said the boys’ motive was gang related.
One of the two boys was either kicked out of or excluded from joining a local gang, Simpson said.
The teens retaliated by shooting at least three targeted homes, including the home of the injured man.
"We’re still trying to determine if all the homes were targeted or just some of them," Simpson said at a press conference in August.
The sheriff wouldn’t say which gang the teens were associated with, but said they didn’t appear to be tied to a regional gang.
"They’re calling themselves a gang, but as far as we can tell they’re part of a smaller, spin-off group," Simpson said.
Two teenagers and an 11-year-old pleaded guilty for several burglaries that were related to the drive-by shootings Wednesday, Aug. 30. The three were not involved in the actual shooting. They are awaiting
disposition hearings in September to determine sentencing.