A sad fact about the current state of things, particularly as regards crime, is that even areas that once were beautiful and safe now have problems that even a few years ago would have been laughed away and dismissed if suggested. Or, at least, that’s how many people feel when crime comes to their neighborhood.
Such was the case in the beautiful town of Alexandria, Virginia, where neighbors were horrified by a stabbing homicide in a church, the Apostolic Church International Ministry building located in the Del Ray neighborhood. The neighbors said that it was shocking and hard to believe that such violence came to their area.
The Alexandria Police Department announced the crime in a press release and asked for the public’s help in figuring out what happened. Beginning the statement, the department first said, “The Alexandria Police Department is seeking assistance from the public regarding an active homicide investigation that occurred in the 2700 block of Dewitt Avenue.”
Describing the incident, the department said, “On Sunday, November 12, 2023, at approximately 4:27 PM, the Alexandria Police Department responded to a call for service regarding a possible stabbing. Upon arrival, APD officers found a 38-year-old male who died inside the location.”
Continuing, the department added that there was no longer any danger to the public, saying, “The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy and determine the cause and manner of death. APD has a suspect in custody and there is no ongoing threat to the public.”
Concluding the original statement, the police reiterated their request for help from the community and described how that help could be provided, saying, “Detectives are actively investigating this case and the Alexandria Police Department is asking that anyone with information regarding this incident please contact Detective Matthew Kramarik via phone at 703.746.6650, email at [email protected], or call our non-emergency line at 703.746.4444. Tips can be anonymous.”
In a later update, the police identified the victim and reiterated their request for information, saying, “The Alexandria Police Department has identified the victim in the homicide that occurred on Sunday, November 12, 2023, as Emmanuel Negatu, 38, of Centreville, VA. APD continues to investigate this incident and asks if anyone has any information on this incident to please contact Detective Matthew Kramarik via phone at 703.746.6650, email at [email protected], or call our non-emergency line at 703.746.4444. Tips can be anonymous.”
Neighbors of the church at which the deadly stabbing occurred were horrified by it. For example, Katie Waynick, president of the Del Ray Citizens Association, said, “It’s hard to kind of put into words knowing that someone lost their life so close to home within this neighborhood.”
Similarly, another neighbor, Ilia Karas, noted that the neighborhood is normally safe and family-friendly, making the incident all the more shocking. Karas said, “It’s a safe neighborhood. There’s kids walking around in the evening time. And it’s a very family-oriented neighborhood. So definitely nothing like this has ever happened.”
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