Alexandria Police are investigating the murder of a prominent official with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
Ronald Kirby, 69, was shot multiple times, and was found in his home in the 200 block of Elm Street Monday afternoon by a relative.
His death is being investigated as a homicide, but police said neighbors should not be concerned about their safety. Officers told News4's Shomari Stone there are no signs of forced entry into the home. A neighbor told News4 the last time she saw Kirby was on Halloween.
Former Fairfax Country Board chairwoman Kate Hanley, who worked with Kirby for years on the regional Transportation Planning Board, said Kirby's death would be an enormous loss.
"Ron was very unselfish with his time," Hanley said. "I've sat with him in more events out in the community talking about transportation and what the issues still are, not just downtown at COG but out in the communities that are part of COG."
Kirby was the director of the department of transportation planning for the Council of Governments, an interstate association that helps counties around D.C. with development, growth and transportation planning. The Council's recommendations shape everything from where roads are built to the quality of the air in the region.
Recently, he was among those encouraging Prince George's County to pursue development around Metro stations, so that commuters would have reason to come in to the county to work. Today, Metro has to "run largely empty trains to those stations in the mornings and back from them in the evenings," he said in the Greater Greater Washington blog.
"I think what drove him was public service," Hanley said. "I think that he thought it was important to make good decisions and have the knowledge to do that."
COG Executive Director Chuck Bean issued a statement on behalf of the organization:
All of the officials and employees of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Transportation Planning Board are devastated by the loss of our colleague, Ron Kirby.
Dr. Kirby, one of the region’s leading experts on transportation planning, was a key figure in all aspects of our work on regional planning and collaboration. He guided the work of the Transportation Planning Board for more than 26 years. His deep knowledge and wise counsel assisted local, state and national officials in reaching consensus on the major transportation issues over the years.
More importantly, he was a trusted colleague and a dear friend to all of us at the Council and his associates around the region. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family at this difficult time.
The police investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Criminal Investigations Section of the Alexandria Police Department at 703-746-6711.
Stay with NBCWashington.com and News4 for more on this developing story.