Woman shot, killed after answering door

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- Alexandria police are investigating a double shooting at a home in the 2400 block of Ridge Road.

Alexandria police say two women were transported to the hospital. One of the women, who is identified as 59-year-old Ruthanne Lodato has died, police said. Another woman suffered non life-threatening injuries. She is expected to be okay.

Neighbors who knew Lodato were saddened and shocked to hear what happened. They say she was a devoted music teacher who taught dozens of children from her home, where she grew up.

"She was one of the nicest people I've ever known," said one neighbor who has known Lodato for years.

"This should not have happened, not to her," she added.

"She was a very, very nice lady. Very energetic," said Martha Yen, who lived down the street from Lodato.

"This is a sad day in the City of Alexandria. We wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of Ruthanne Lodato, and our thoughts are with the victims of the Ridge Road Drive shootings. I am confident that the Alexandria Police Department will work swiftly to apprehend the person who committed this horrible crime," Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille said in a statement about the incident.

Police have no indication that the women knew the suspect.

Some neighbors were concerned by the apparent randomness of the shooting. Andrew Barlett just moved into the neighborhood with his family four months ago. He said he'll think twice before answering a knock at the door.

"You can't help but suddenly wonder," he said.

The suspect is described as an elderly white male, balding with gray hair and a full beard, who police say knocked on the door and shot two women inside. A third person inside the home has not been identified by Police as yet.

Alexandria does not typically have to deal with many murders. There were five murders in the city last year. One of last year's murders is eerily similar to the Lodato murder. In November, Ronald Kirby, a well-known regional transportation planner and expert, was shot and killed in his home, about a mile from Lodato's home, in what appeared to have been a random killing. That murder remains unsolved.

Police said they are considering the similarities of the two murders.


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