Possible Gang Affiliation Probed in Lorton Slaying

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fairfax County police are investigating whether a man found shot to death in the Lorton area Monday afternoon is a gang member with ties to the Los Angeles area, sources familiar with the investigation said yesterday.

The man's identity had not been determined yesterday. His body was found behind an abandoned house at 8900 Lorton Rd., on the grounds of the now-closed D.C. prison, by a security guard making routine checks about 4:30 p.m.

Police said that the man was shot multiple times in the upper body and that the shooting occurred where he was found. Lt. Richard J. Perez, a Fairfax police spokesman, said investigators who canvassed the neighborhood determined that the shots were fired about 9 p.m. Sunday.

"Given his physical characteristics," Perez said, "his stature, size and other determinant factors, the investigators believe this victim is of Latino descent."

Evidence found on the man's body indicated that he had been in Los Angeles last week, numerous sources said. Because Los Angeles continues to be a hotbed for Latino gangs, including 18th Street and Mara Salvatrucha, which have branched out into the D.C. area, police are checking the possibility that the victim had a gang affiliation. But, Perez cautioned, there is no indication "at this point that it's a gang-related incident."

The victim was thought to be in his late teens or early 20s. He was wearing a gray T-shirt, black stone-washed jeans and blue sneakers, Perez said. Police were checking the man's fingerprints against various databases yesterday as well as using other methods to try to identify him.

The slaying is the fourth in Fairfax this year. The state's largest county had six homicides at this time last year. For all of 2006, there were 19.

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