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3 Slayings Weren't Random, Police Say

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By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 22, 2008

The three men stabbed to death Wednesday night in Fairfax County were not victims of a random attack, police said yesterday, but they declined to say why they believe that the house on Moultrie Road was targeted for violence.

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Terence J. Strope, 38, his brother Ryan C. Strope, 26, and their friend Andres A. Yelicie, 26, lived in a rented brick rambler in the Ravensworth Farm neighborhood, just off Braddock Road, in the Springfield area. About 9:40 p.m., Yelicie ran from the house and collapsed on the front steps of a house across the street, bleeding heavily from at least two stab wounds, neighbors said.

An ambulance came to take Yelicie away, but not before he alerted police to the Strope brothers inside their house. More ambulances were summoned. All three men died at Inova Fairfax Hospital later Wednesday, police said. It is unclear how much, if anything, the three men were able to tell police before they died.

On Thursday, homicide detectives and crime scene investigators examined the house and canvassed the neighborhood but did not develop any suspects. Neighbors grew increasingly fearful, and the Ravensworth Farm Civic Association sought reassurance from Capt. Bruce Ferguson, commander of the West Springfield patrol district, who advised them that he did not think the killings were a random act and did not appear gang-related, according to an e-mail he later sent to police commanders.

Still, the triple homicide was about a block away from Ravensworth Elementary School and continued to upset parents. So Supervisor Sharon S. Bulova (D-Braddock) and school board member Tessie Wilson (Braddock) will convene a community meeting at the school at 1 p.m. tomorrow to discuss safety in the neighborhood.

Bulova said Ravensworth Farm "is a very, very safe community, and neighbors look out for each other." She noted that when the first sign of trouble erupted Wednesday night, "they didn't hide in their homes -- they ran out and rendered aid." She said police commanders will attend the meeting because "it's important that we share as much information with the community as possible so that they're reassured about their safety."

The families of the Stropes and Yelicie declined to comment on the case yesterday.

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