Herndon police said yesterday they had recovered two 9mm guns from the scene of a shooting that left a Reston teenager dead and a man in critical condition after a confrontation at a high school graduation party Saturday night.
Police identified the dead teenager yesterday as James H. Randall, 16. He was shot in the chest outside the Four Seasons community clubhouse and swimming pool at 1201 Herndon Pkwy. A friend drove Randall to Columbia Reston Hospital after the shooting just before midnight Saturday, and he was then taken by helicopter to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he died Sunday morning.
Randall's family said yesterday they had no details about the shooting and didn't know whether he had been invited to the graduation party. His father, James Randall, said his son had dropped out of South Lakes High School but had earned an equivalency diploma and hoped to attend community college next fall.
"He was never conscious from the moment we reached the hospital," the father said. "We don't know what happened."
A 21-year-old Reston man who arrived at the party with Randall was shot in the lower abdomen and remained in critical condition yesterday at Inova Fairfax Hospital. His name was not released.
Police also declined to release the name of the Loudoun County man who allegedly shot Randall and the Reston man. A guest at the party told The Washington Post on Sunday that the man who fired at the two had been hosting a graduation party for his daughter, a senior at Park View High School, when several people who had crashed the party were asked to leave. Three people returned with guns, threatening at least one guest, and the party host began firing, the guest said.
Herndon police questioned the Loudoun man early Sunday, then released him. Herndon police Capt. Darryl C. Smith said the case would be turned over to Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. for a ruling on whether the man should be charged, or whether the shooting was justifiable.
Investigators confiscated two 9mm pistols from the scene of the shooting, Smith said. One of the guns apparently belonged to the wounded 21-year-old Reston man, Smith said, and the other gun belonged to someone connected with the party. Smith would not say whether either gun had been fired or whether the second gun belonged to the Loudoun man.
Police said at least five shots were fired, and crime scene investigators continued to comb the pool grounds yesterday looking for more physical evidence. Police would not say whether more than one person fired shots.
The guest said Sunday that the Loudoun man had a permit to carry a concealed weapon because of his job working security in the auto business. Herndon police were unable to confirm that yesterday, Smith said.
Police were first called to the party at 10:17 p.m. Saturday, Smith said, on a report of disorderly conduct and fighting in the parking lot. By the time officers arrived, the disturbance had ended, but officers stayed there until being dispatched on another call about 11 p.m., Smith said.
Police were called again at 11:55 p.m. and found from 80 to 100 people in the Four Seasons parking lot and an undetermined number inside the clubhouse and pool area, Smith said. Partygoers came from Loudoun County, Arlington County and Reston, Smith said.
Smith said he could not recall Herndon police ever responding to a report of disorderly conduct or fighting at the Four Seasons club. Joyce Burd, secretary of the Four Seasons Recreation Association, said the club often hosts its own teen parties and hires an off-duty police officer to monitor the parking lot. The clubhouse and pool were rented Saturday by a relative of the Park View graduate, and no officers were present.
Park View High School Principal James E. Person said that most seniors didn't attend school yesterday because they were exempt from final exams and that few students were talking about the party.
"We still don't know all the details," Person said of the shooting. "It's a police issue."
Today is the last day of school at Park View, and commencement is scheduled for Thursday.
Sarah de Silva, 16, of Sterling, said she knew Randall during elementary and middle school, and the two occasionally kept in touch after she moved to Loudoun County a few years ago.
"He was pretty cool," de Silva said. "I know he got into a little bit of trouble, but nothing big."