Fairfax County police detectives have arrested a 19-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy in connection with the fatal shooting of a 73-year-old man at an ATM in the Falls Church area last October, police announced April 11.
The victim, Nelson Alexander Sr. of Falls Church, was using an ATM at Wells Fargo Bank, 2928 Annandale Road, around 5:20 a.m. on Oct. 20, 2021, when he was approached by a masked youth who was brandishing a small revolver. After a brief exchange in which Alexander dropped his wallet, causing his credit cards to spill out, the youth shot him once in the chest, county police said.
Police dispatched officers to the scene after a passing bicyclist found the victim lying on the ground in the bank’s parking lot at 6:14 a.m. Alexander, who did not resist during the robbery, died of his wounds three days later at an area hospital.
Detectives on April 7 obtained arrest warrants against Timothy Kashaun Bradshaw Robinson, 19, of Falls Church for felony murder and robbery resulting in the death of another. Robinson, the alleged getaway driver, was 18 when the shooting occurred, said Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis.
Detectives from the department’s Fugitive Track and Apprehension Squad arrested Bradshaw Robinson April 8 at his home in Falls Church and took him to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, where authorities held him without bond.
Detectives also obtained petitions for the 17-year-old male suspect from Washington, D.C., for felony murder, robbery resulting in the death of another and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
The juvenile, who was 16 when the shooting occurred, was the gunman, the police chief said. County police anticipate that the juvenile, who is being held on unrelated violent-crime charges at a juvenile facility in Baltimore County, Md., will be charged as an adult in Alexander’s murder and remanded to Fairfax County, he said.
Police will release that youth’s name once he has been certified and charged as an adult, Davis said.
Authorities credited many tips from the public and strong cooperation by regional law enforcement in helping crack the case.
County police on Oct. 29 announced that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives (ATF) was offering a $10,000 reward for information that led to the arrest of those responsible for the murder. Fairfax County police said they would ensure the tipsters were allotted the appropriate cash reward for their significant contributions.
The ATM’s surveillance camera recorded not only the fatal shooting but also a 2009 Nissan Murano in the moments leading up to the crime, police said. Detectives soon determined the Murano had been stolen earlier that night from the 5200 block of Dover Place in the city of Alexandria. County police recovered the Murano Oct. 24 on Marshall Street near the scene of the murder.
The discovery of the stolen vehicle led detectives to request surveillance footage from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). High-quality photographs, including video footage from WMATA buses, helped authorities track down the suspects.
“This case is scientific,” said Maj. Ed O’Carroll, chief of the county police department’s Major Crimes Bureau. “It is not guesswork, not just hunches. This case is built on science and technology.”
Surveillance footage revealed three people, including the suspects, boarding a WMATA bus around 1:20 a.m. on Oct. 20 near the Seven Corners Shopping Center in the 6200 block of Arlington Boulevard in the Falls Church area. The three people then exited the bus in the city of Alexandria, near where the Murano was stolen, police said.
“It was an entire night of crime,” O’Carroll said. “They had done it previously and they did it on Oct. 20.”
The suspects “left footprints nearly everywhere in the National Capital Region,” Davis added.
Upon determining the potential suspects’ line of travel, detectives urged community members to review their private surveillance systems from the evening before the murder. This resulted in numerous tips and additional video footage that led police to identify the three people captured on the WMATA surveillance cameras.
Detectives executed several search warrants, which resulted in digital and forensic evidence that connected the suspects to the murder, police said. Police currently do not believe the third man seen with the group was involved in the murder.
Police have not recovered the firearm used in the murder and because it likely was a revolver, there were no ejected shell casings left at the scene, Davis said. Authorities, however, “have a ton of forensic evidence,” he added.
Alexander “loved his family, he loved his friends, he loved everyone that he knew,” said his niece, Kendra Johnson. “We miss him so much.”
The family was “overjoyed” upon learning that police had caught the suspects, she said.
Davis said he had kept a photo of Alexander on his desk ever since the shooting to remind himself and the police department “how unfair life can be and how we must constantly strive to deliver justice to violent-crime victims and their surviving loved ones.”