virginia

Gunfire Kills Man in Leesburg

Gunshots were fired from a Leesburg parking lot into an apartment window late Thursday, fatally wounding a 38-year-old man, authorities said yesterday.

John G. Zimmerman Jr. died early Friday at Inova Fairfax Hospital, police said. He had been shot just before 11 p.m. Thursday in the second floor of a garden apartment in the 100 block of Clubhouse Drive SW.

Leesburg police would not comment on a suspect or motive. No arrests have been made.

Va. Tech Alumni Dispute Policy

Wearing lapel pins that read "We won't go back," about 600 black alumni of Virginia Tech challenged administrators yesterday on a new admissions and hiring policy that forbids preferences for racial minorities and other underrepresented groups.

"Each of us has a responsibility to publicly question actions designed to reinstitute that terrible era of segregation," Irving L. Peddrew III, Virginia Tech's first black student, said at a ceremony held in his honor.

The unanimous resolution by the university's Board of Visitors on March 10 -- a month before the U.S. Supreme Court was scheduled to scrutinize affirmative action policies at the University of Michigan -- removed any consideration for "veteran status, political affiliation, race, color and national origin, ethnicity, religious belief, or gender" when picking students or staff.

The board, which based its decision on an April 2002 legal opinion from the Virginia attorney general's office, is to reconsider the school's admissions and hiring policies at a special meeting April 6.

THE DISTRICT

Activists Hold War 'Mourn-In'

About 150 religious leaders and peace activists held a "mourn-in" yesterday at Freedom Plaza downtown, saying they wanted to mourn and draw attention to Iraqis and U.S. troops who are dying in the war in Iraq.

The group's organizer, Ruby Sales of the SpiritHouse social justice organization in Washington, called on a "mighty cloud of gray-haired witnesses," people older than 40, to urge their government and religious organizations to oppose the war. The event, which organizers planned to continue overnight until their permit expires at 10 a.m. today, also was hosted by Black Voices for Peace, Every Church a Peace Church and the Maryknoll Office for Global Concern.

Organizers said they wanted to draw an ethnically diverse crowd with a spiritual bent. The group sang songs, prayed and listened to speeches, many criticizing President Bush for calling himself religious. The crowd, including parents with their children, mostly ignored two hecklers who started a shouting match with a few participants.

P St. Bridge Project to Begin

A $3.5 million reconstruction project for the P Street Bridge starts tomorrow morning and will continue through June 2004, with possible travel delays, according to the D.C. Department of Transportation.

Pedestrian and two-way car and bus traffic will be maintained during the work, which will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Westbound trucks will be detoured at 23rd and M streets NW and eastbound at 28th and O streets NW.

Car entrances to Rock Creek Parkway at each end of the bridge will be regulated by flag crews, the agency said.

Fatal Stabbing Off Irving St. NW

District police are investigating the fatal stabbing of a man found yesterday morning in an alley behind the 1400 block of Irving Street NW, police said.

The man, who has not been identified, was found stabbed in the chest about 8:10 a.m. and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

No arrests have been made, police said.

Maryland

35 Cars Crash on I-95

A total of 35 cars piled up in four accidents on Interstate 95 north of Baltimore yesterday, closing northbound traffic lanes for more than two hours, authorities said.

No serious injuries were reported in the series of crashes that began with an 18-car pileup in the northbound lanes near White Marsh just after 3 p.m., said Maryland State Police Trooper Derrick Thomas.

"My son was taken away from me; he's gone. . . . But if you've got one son, turn around and grab him even tighter than you did yesterday, because you don't know, you just don't know."

-- Michael Waters-Bey, speaking of the death of his son, Marine Staff Sgt. Kendall D. Waters-Bey, in a helicopter crash in Iraq. -- Page A19

Compiled from reports by staff writers Vikki Ortiz, Karlyn Barker, Katherine Shaver and Maria Glod and the Associated Press.