Springfield Teen Convicted of Manslaughter; Used ‘Ghost Gun’

Springfield Teen Convicted of Manslaughter; Used ‘Ghost Gun’

A Springfield, Va. teen was convicted this week of two counts of manslaughter in a homicide that involved a ghost gun as the murder weapon, said Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano.

Zachary Burkard, 19, was convicted by a jury Monday and the same panel recommended a 20-year prison sentence on Tuesday. The charges against him stemmed from a double homicide at a residence on Winding Way Court, Springfield on April 25, 2021. Two 17-year-old males were killed in the shooting in which Burkard used a ghost gun he made after purchasing parts for the weapon. The shooting followed a fist fight that had just occurred between two other teenagers, and the gun utilized was a handgun capable of firing in fully automatic mode.

“Anytime a young person’s life is taken, it’s a tragedy. But especially when it’s done with a gun that should have never existed,” Descano said. 

Ghost guns are weapons that can be assembled privately and are not traceable.

“The proliferation of untraceable guns in our communities continues to be unconscionable and I will keep fighting for stronger laws to address this crisis,” Descano said. 

Burkard has a formal sentencing hearing scheduled for Dec. 15.