FAIRFAX, Va. — Editor's Note: A previous version of this story cited statements from prosecutors saying shell casings found at Tysons Corner were a match for an unsolved Richmond homicide. However, the office of the Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney later recanted their misstatement and said the casings matched a drive-by shooting in Henrico.
A D.C.-based rapper and alleged gang leader charged with firing a gun multiple times inside a crowded Virginia mall over Father's Day weekend was denied bond Wednesday morning.
Tysons Corner Center was evacuated and temporarily closed on June 18 after the sound of gunfire on the second floor sent shoppers scurrying. No one was injured in the shooting but police say three people were treated for injuries that happened while the mall was being evacuated.
Noah Settles, 22, turned himself over to Fairfax County Police on June 22. In his first court appearance Wednesday, prosecutors laid out a timeline of events, claiming the incident tied back to a feud between rival gangs.
According to the Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney's office, the ATF, FBI and MPD recognize Settles as the leader of the 37th Street gang. Surveillance video shows Settles and one other alleged member of the gang getting into a fight with a member of the Simple City gang. At one point, Settles aims a gun at the person was fighting with, before walking several stores away and disengaging. Then, Settles paced near a kiosk and moved towards the Simple City member before firing three shots.
Prosecutors added that no gun has been recovered from the mall. Three shell casings found at the scene were placed into the national ballistics database and are being investigated as a match to a drive-by shooting in Henrico County. However, the Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney's office added that they don't have evidence tying Settles to the drive-by shooting, only that the gun shell casings match.
“We opposed bond for Mr. Settles due to the serious nature of the allegations,” Steve Descano said. “We will do everything in our power to keep our community safe. Firing a weapon inside a crowded shopping mall poses a serious threat to the safety of Fairfax County citizens, as well as visitors to our community.”
Settles faces multiple charges, including attempted malicious wounding, discharging a weapon into an occupied building and use of a firearm in commission of a felony, according to police. He has two previous gun possession arrests on his record.
His attorney maintains Settles is not a member of 37th Street or any other gang, and says he is well-known because of his music career. He claims Settles was surrounded and felt threatened and endangered. In an effort to protect himself and his companion, the situation “devolved into chaos," the defense attorney said.
On Wednesday, the judge considered Settles' criminal history and the severity of the accusations and denied bond. He will remain at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
Settles' next court appearance is Aug. 15, 2022.