Alexandria Homicide Arrests Raise Gang Concerns - NBC4 Washington

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Alexandria Homicide Arrests Raise Gang Concerns

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    NEWSLETTERS

    There's growing concern in Alexandria following arrests in two high profile homicides. The suspects are linked to a dangerous gang. Meagan Fitzgerald reports on how that gang is now recruiting younger kids. (Published Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016)

    Three of four suspects in two homicides in Alexandria, Virginia, are affiliated with MS-13, including a 16-year-old girl, police said.

    The discovery of two bodies in parks in less than three months concerns many Alexandria residents. A man was found nearly decapitated in Beverley Park. Another was found stabbed in Four Mile Run.

    A regional gang task force expert who works alongside active gang members said MS-13 gang activity is increasing and recruitment is happening in schools and as early as elementary school.

    “They're looking for kids who don't fit in at school, who may be victims of bullying, physical assaults,” the expert said. “Those are the kids they're targeting.”

    Because hundreds of gang members have been arrested since 2013, there's a push to increase membership to keep the gang alive, police said.

    Parents need to watch their kids closely for warning signs, behavioral things like changes in attitudes, changes in peer groups and lack of interest in family activities, experts say.