A man suspected of firing shots at moving vehicles in Manassas — and believed by police to have fled into a house afterward — was apprehended Thursday night and charged with firing at an occupied vehicle. No injuries were reported.
Manassas City police were still searching for a second suspect in connection with the shootings. Police had said the men might have high-powered rifles and automatic weapons in the residence.
After several hours, officers searched the house with SWAT officers, police dogs and robots. Manassas Police Chief Doug Keen said no one was found inside.
“It’s been a good night,” Keen said. “We took a violent criminal off the street, no one in the community was hurt and all the law enforcement officers went home.”
Investigators found weapons in the house, Keen said, but it was “cluttered” and the type and number of weapons were not described.
The incident started to unfold at about 1:30 p.m. in the 9600 block of Aspen Place, where police were called for the report of shots fired, police said on their Facebook account. At least three vehicles were struck by shots. They said in the afternoon that after the shots were fired, the two men reportedly fled inside a home in the same block.
Patty Prince, a Manassas spokeswoman, said Thursday evening that even though police shut down the block and surrounded the home, authorities were unsure whether the men were inside the townhouse. The police presence was precautionary and based on a tip that the men were heavily armed inside the home.
Police warned neighbors to stay away from the scene.
A spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the agency sent a special response team to the scene, along with assistance from the Northern Virginia Gang Task Force.
Prince said police evacuated about 25 families from half a block of townhouses in the area around the scene. Officials had kept students who live near Osbourn High and two elementary schools near the scene. All students were eventually released when the situation was deemed safe.
Police arrested Manuel Gonzalez, 23, near Potomac Mills mall several hours after the incident, Keen said. Gonzalez was also charged with offenses including possession of a firearm by a felon and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.
Witnesses told police that Gonzalez fired at a blue vehicle as it left the scene and that a second man was seen with him. Police continue to investigate the incident.
This report has been updated.