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Community shocked over Aldie murder-suicide

A preliminary report has indicated a man shot his wife and mother-in-law before turning the gun on himself in a Jan. 7 murder-suicide in Aldie.

Emergency services received a call around 10:30 p.m., reporting the sounds of gunfire from inside a home at the 41700 block of Eloquence Square in the Kirkpatrick Farms development. The Sheriff's Office Rapid Response Unit entered the home and discovered the bodies of two dead adults.

Though police would not identify the couple, housing records, confirmed by neighbors, indicate the deceased are Sodhi Singh Chanal, 43, and his wife, Mandeep Chanal, 36. Mandeep's mother, who lived with the family, survived the incident and was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Additionally, the couple's sons, two boys ages 12 and 16, were in the house during the incident, but were unharmed. The two are currently staying with relatives.

The violence shocked the community, located just miles from Route 15 and Route 50.

“They were so nice and so hardworking,” said one Eloquence Terrace resident, who requested to be unnamed. “I never heard any fighting.”

Although there had never been any fighting before, the neighbor said, earlier that day the couple got in a loud spat around 2 p.m. and resumed arguing later that evening. Both Sodhi and Mandeep were home during the day, something neighbors said was rare for the dual-income family.

Sodhi Chanal had driven a taxi cab on and off for the better part of 20 years.

A Washington Flyer cab sat parked in front of the empty townhouse.

One resident, whose townhome shares a wall with the Chanals, initially didn't even think the bang was a gunshot.

“I thought they were hammering or something,” said the neighbor, who also requested she remain unnamed.

She watched fire and rescue evacuate the boys and mother-in-law through an upstairs window via a ladder.

“The mother-in-law was hysterical,” she said.

Both neighbors' focus continued to come back to the two boys in the home.

“They used to play their video games in their rooms with the windows down,” the adjacent neighbor recalled. “They were always laughing, talking with their friends.”

Neighbors are hoping to organize an effort to raise money for the boys.

This is the third death from a domestic incident in less than 12 months. On May 17, Roseangela shot her husband in their Sterling home, and on March 2, Dae Hwang of Leesburg stabbed her husband to death.


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