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FairfaxUpdate: ATM shooting is now a murder investigation

Update: ATM shooting is now a murder investigation

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Fairfax County police are seeking a suspect who shot a 73-year-old man Oct. 20 as he was accessing an ATM in the Falls Church area. The victim later died.

Police dispatched officers to the Wells Fargo bank branch at 2928 Annandale Road after a bicyclist found the victim lying on the ground in the parking lot at 6:14 a.m.

Responding Fire and Rescue Department personnel found that the victim was suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the upper body. Rescue workers took the man to an area hospital, where he underwent surgery.

The victim, identified as Nelson Alexander Sr. of Falls Church, died from his injuries Oct. 23.


Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis called the shooting a “heinous, disgusting act.”

Detectives from the police department’s Major Crimes Bureau preliminarily have determined the victim entered the parking lot in his Jeep around 5:20 a.m. to use the walk-up ATM. As he was standing in front of the machine, he was approached by a masked man who displayed a small revolver.

Surveillance footage recovered from the bank recorded the suspect threatening the victim and making demands before shooting him, police said.

The victim had been on his way to work when he stopped to get cash at the ATM and dropped his wallet when startled by the gunman, spilling his credit cards, Davis said.

Video shows the victim pivoting to enter his personal identification number in the machine.

“There was no struggle, there was no fight, there was no resistance,” Davis said.

No cash transaction was completed during the robbery and the suspect did not appear to have escaped with any of the victim’s credit cards or his car, Davis said. Police do not think the shooter and victim knew each other, he said.

The suspect left the area in an unknown direction. Responding officers, along with K-9 and helicopter units, searched the area, but were unable to locate the suspect, police said.

The suspect is described as a young black male with a slim build who last was seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, dark-colored pants, light-colored backpack, white sneakers with thick black laces and a black face covering. The gunman’s tennis shoes and backpack are distinctive-looking, police said.

Detectives think the suspect may have been involved in other criminal activity the night before the shooting and are working on several leads provided by the community. They are asking anyone with surveillance footage from the overnight hours of Oct. 19-20 to review it in hopes of spotting the suspect.

Police ask anyone who has information about the suspect, recognizes him from the bank’s surveillance footage or may have witnessed the shooting to call the Major Crimes Bureau at (703) 246-7800, option 2. Tips also may be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone at (866) 411-TIPS (866-411-8477) and by texting “FCCS” plus tip to 847411.

Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 if their information leads to an arrest.

Police also are trying to track down a vehicle seen on the surveillance video, which might have been a getaway car or perhaps that of a potential witness.

County police are investigating some vehicle-tampering cases in the vicinity, but there is no such trend regarding armed robberies, the chief said.

“The collective outrage, I’m convinced, will help us put this shooter behind bars,” Davis said.

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