Alexandra Police say a 58-year-old Mechanicsville man was arrested for Wednesday morning’s Alexandria Road Rage shooting. A Virginia attorney says he may be able to fight this in court depending on the circumstances.
“Absolutely, I believe this is something that they could take to court,” said Attorney John Piece. He specializes in firearms law. We’ll get to that in a moment to first explain what happened.
Alexandria Police say it was just before 8 a.m. on Wednesday, right in the middle of the morning rush, when a conflict on the Beltway spilled over onto the Eisenhower Connector near the I-495 off-ramp. You could see the passenger window of a dark-colored SUV shootout. Officers arrested 58-year-old Ernest Stickell for shooting a 33-year-old Bladensburg, woman. Her passenger didn’t get hit.
“Shocking for sure, the fact that he went that far,” said the suspect’s neighbor who asked not to be identified. He described Stickell as someone who kept to himself -- seen mowing the lawn sometimes.
We got a “no comment” from an older woman at the suspect’s home.
Online we found a history of Battery and Assault charges. We even found a court case where Stickell, named as a Supervisor at an auto glass shop in the 90s, was accused of hurling constant racial slurs and insults at an African American employee.
That history is only one piece of the puzzle.
“If they were openly carrying a firearm loaded in their vehicle that would be perfectly legal,” said Pierce.
The Virginia Attorney says there may be issues with how the gun was carried over state lines, but Pierce says it is not illegal for Stickell to have a loaded firearm in his car. He tells WUSA 9 Virginia is an open carry state. Wednesday night, the Virginia attorney said he’s paying close attention to witness accounts that claim the victim had exited her car, yelling, and approached the suspect’s vehicle.
At least one other report says the passenger also exited the vehicle. If that is the case, Pierce is asking, “Did the aggressor commit some overt act that made him believe that he was going to breach is the vehicle.”
Police haven’t said much on what exactly started this or what happened in the meantime. The only described an “aggressive” act. We do know the suspect fled but ended up turning himself in at a Frederick County State Police Barracks.
His neighbor says engaging in anything to this extreme is just reckless.
The 33-year-old woman is seriously injured but expected to pull through. Witnesses say she was shot in the neck and back.