SPRINGFIELD, Va. (AP) — Fairfax County Police have charged two men in the fatal shooting of a military couple in the front yard of their Springfield home.
Police announced the arrests of Ronnie Marshall, 20, and D’Angelo Strand, 19, of Fort Washington, Maryland, on Thursday evening. They are charged with two counts of second-degree murder and firearms violations and are being held without bond. Court records do not list an attorney for either man.
Police identified the victims of the shooting as Army Col. Dr. Edward McDaniel Jr., 55, and Army Retired Col. Brenda McDaniel, 63.
“We’re here because two pillars of our community, of our country, really, were gunned down viciously in their own front yard,” Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said at a news conference Thursday.
News outlets report that Davis said the motive was a dispute, but investigators are still trying to determine what it was about. Marshall and Strand worked with one of the couple's relatives. The chief declined to say where.
The killings were directly related to an incident at the McDaniels' home on Monday, Maj. Ed O’Carroll said. Officers were called for an attempted burglary when one of the suspects went to their house and there was a dispute, police said. The incident was under investigation when the slayings occurred.
Edward McDaniel was a doctor of internal medicine at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, where he was also the director of executive medicine, Army officials said. He had served in the Army since 1995.
Brenda McDaniel served in the Army from 1983 to 2009 and retired as a colonel, Army officials said. Her military awards included the Legion of Merit, which recognizes “exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.”
Edward McDaniel's mother, Felice McDaniel, told The Washington Post that her son was scheduled to retire in November, but he planned to continue working as a doctor.
“They loved their country. They loved their service," Felice McDaniel said. "They loved the people who were their patients."