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Homicide rates in Fairfax County more than double compared to same time last year

The homicide of an Alexandria man marked the 14th so far this year, but that’s around the annual total for the last three years in a row, police data reveals.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Fairfax County, Virginia has seen a strong increase in homicides this year as crime makes headlines across the D.C. metro area. According to data from Fairfax County Police, the homicide rate has more than doubled in 2021 from this time last year. 

The death of a man on Southgate Drive on Wednesday night marked the 14th homicide reported in the first seven months of 2021, which is already higher than the total amount in 2018 at 13 homicides; equal to the 2019 total of 14 and just under last year’s total of 15. In July 2020, there had been only six homicides recorded by police.

Homicides in the District are also higher this year at an increase of 5% - a smaller increase than Fairfax by percentage. D.C. has seen an increase every year since 2017, according to MPD data. There have been 113 homicides so far this year, whereas, at the same time last year, the District was at 108. 

Wednesday's homicide was reported just after 7 p.m. and took place in an apartment at the 3100 block of Southgate Drive in Alexandria, police said. Medics pronounced the man dead on the scene.

A preliminary investigation determined the gunshot wound the man sustained was not self-inflicted and homicide detectives were then called to the scene. Detectives were on the scene overnight gathering evidence and talking to neighbors to figure out exactly what happened, and what led to the shooting.

"We're still very early in the stages of the investigation," Police Sgt. Tara Gerhard said. "So we're still working through evidence, [and] having conversations with anyone who may have seen something."

Fairfax County Police are asking anyone who may have seen anything suspicious, heard anything suspicious, or who may have information to aid in their investigation to call the department's Major Crimes Bureau at 703-691-2131 or submit a tip anonymously through Fairfax County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS ( 866-411-8477 ).

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