UPDATE: 12:20 p.m.
The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office has charged three males in connection with the Friday murder of 17-year-old Danny Centeno-Miranda, a student of Park View High School.
A 17-year-old male from Sterling is charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in connection with a felony. His name is not being released at this time because he is a juvenile.
However, Loudoun Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman said today that his office will seek to try the 17-year-old as an adult.
"He will be brought into court on Tuesday for arraignments and advised to his right to counsel, undoubtedly appointed an attorney. We have every intention at that point of filing a notice of certification on his attorney and proceeding to prosecute him as an adult. The nature of the charge and his age and a combination of that I think is an automatic certification to do that," Plowman said.
Two other suspects, Henry Ernesto Dominguez, 20, and Juan Moises Aguirre Zelaya, 19, both of Sterling, have been charged with possession of a firearm by a person who is not a citizen of the United States and accessory after the fact.
Dominquez and Zelaya are undocumented immigrants from El Salvador, according to Maj. Richard Fiano. The 17-year-old, he said, is believed to be from Mexico.
Dominquez and Zelaya were arrested at their home. They lived together, Fiano said.
If convicted, they may be eligible for deportation, depending on how federal agencies choose to handle the cases, Plowman said.
Both men are being held without bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center. The juvenile is being held at the Juvenile Detention Center.
A motive for the shooting remains under investigation, including whether the incident was gang-related.
"We're looking into that. There may be some gang affiliation, however we don't know what the reason was exactly just yet or the actions that had taken place," Sheriff Mike Chapman said.
This is not the first time Park View has been in the news for possible gang activity.
In March, a group of possible MS-13 gang members tried to recruit students from Sterling Middle School, according to a search warrant filed by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office April 8.
A group of Sterling Middle School students approached the school's assistant principal, Elana Barham, and told her students from Park View High School in Sterling had harassed and intimidated them about joining MS-13, according to the warrant.
Suzanne Devlin, supervisor of Loudoun County Public Schools' Department of Safety and Security, said Park View works to keep gang activity away from students.
"I don't think there's any question that that school has gang activity. But of course, gang activity is about affiliation " But what I've been told by kids themselves is we understand the ramifications of us assuming our ganghood in our schools. So they do what they can to leave it at the door. And we are certainly very sensitive to those possibilities and we do everything we can to help kids integrate positively into the environment, into the culture that they now live," Devlin said.
Loudoun Maj. John Fraga said additional School Resource Officers will be available at Park View High School next week to talk to students.
"And I assume we'll have plenty of students who want to talk with us," Fraga said. "That was the case last night ..."
Fraga said parents who picked up their students from Park View on Friday afternoon were "very nervous" about what had happened.
Law enforcement worked through the night to track down the suspects.
"We did additional canvass work at the schools because Danny was a student at Park View High School. We immediately began working with the schools and put the schools on lockdown believing that [the suspects] may have been related to the schools, either present or former," Chapman said.
Chapman said detectives conducted several interviews and executed search warrants to track down the suspects.
The sheriff said detectives are still conducting interviews and working through the details of the investigation.
"The main thing is we wanted to get the word out that we arrested who we believe are the suspects in this particular shooting and we wanted to let the citizens know that this area and the county were aware of it in that this was not a random incident. It appears the victim and the suspects were known to each other," Chapman said.
"They were neighborhood guys. They all lived in that neighborhood," Fiano said.
Fiano said detectives believe the firearm used in the murder has been recovered, however it's not know how the assailant obtained the handgun.
Centeno-Miranda was shot on his way to school, about less than 50 yards from the bus stop.
"I don't believe there were any other kids in that vicinity," Fiano said.
Law enforcement would not say how many shots were fired during the incident, however they know that Centeno-Miranda was struck twice by bullets in the back area.
"This is a tragic situation for really everybody. A 17-year-old had to lose his life on his way to school. It's heartbreaking and very tragic. That's why we've sparred no resource to get everything accomplished on this as soon as possible," Chapman said.
Henry Ernesto Dominguez
Juan Moises Aguirre Zelaya
UPDATE: 8:40 a.m.
The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office has three people in custody in connection with the murder of 17-year-old Danny Centeno-Miranda. A juvenile and two adults are in custody. More information will be released as it becomes available.
UPDATE: 7 p.m.
The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office has identified the victim in this morning's shooting as 17-year-old Danny Centeno-Miranda.
Centeno-Miranda was shot while he was on his way to school, according to sources close to the case, and the victim likely knew his attackers.
So far, the suspects believed to be involved in Centeno-Miranda's death are still on the loose. The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the case and more details will be released as they become available.
Photo Courtesy/Sterling Park Neighborhood Exchange
UPDATE: 12:57 p.m.
The victim of a Friday morning shooting, a 17-year-old Park View High School student, has died, according to Liz Mills, spokeswoman for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.
It's not known at this time if the teenage male died at the scene or at the hospital. His name is not being released at this time pending notification of next of kin.
Park View High School is now in modified lockdown mode. Students are able to leave their classrooms and are heading to lunch.
The Loudoun County Public Schools Crisis Team has been called in to the school to assist students and faulty in the dealing with the tragic loss of the student.
"We have the crisis team here to help students and guidance staff is working overtime," Loudoun County Public Schools spokesman Wayde Byard said
STORY: 12:26 p.m.
The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting in Sterling today that left one teenage male with multiple gunshot wounds.
The victim's condition is unknown at this time, according to Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman (R).
The victim was taken from the scene by ambulance to Inova Hospital.
Deputies were called to the Pembrooke community about 8:46 a.m. at the intersection of East Cornell and North Duke drives for reports of multiple gunshots. When they arrived on scene, they found a teenager lying on the ground.
Chapman said detectives believe at least two to three teenage suspects fled the scene on foot following the shooting.
The teens are potentially armed and dangerous, which prompted the lockdown or lockout of seven Loudoun County Public Schools near the scene.
The local schools affected include: Sterling Middle School, Guilford Elementary School, Forest Grove Elementary School, Rolling Ridge Elementary, Sterling Elementary and Sully Elementary on lockout, and Park View High School is in lockdown.
The six schools in the Park View cluster that are in lockout mode are running a normal school day in the building, but no one is permitted onto the campus.
At Park View High School, which is on lockdown, no one can enter the building and the internal doors are also locked so everyone inside is secured in a classroom.
"There is an increase police presence in [Sterling Park]," Loudoun County Public Schools spokesman Wayde Byard said. " " The reason for the lockdown is purely out of precaution while the sheriff's office does their business. There's no reason to think there's any threat of a shooter in the building."
Chapman said detectives have "promising leads" in tracking down the suspects, but urged the community surrounding the area to remain cautious.
"It's important that the community know what's going on out of an abundance of caution. We're asking anyone who knows anything to please call us immediately," Chapman said.
Anyone who witnessed this incident and has not already talked to the Sheriff's Office, or has additional information is asked contact the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office at 703-777-0445.
This is a developing story. More information will be added as it becomes available.
|Loudoun County Sheriff's Office officials responded to an approximately 8:30 a.m. shooting in Sterling Friday. Times-Mirror Photo/Rick Wasser|