2 Charged in Virginia Jewelry Store Robbery, Shooting

Two Maryland men are charged in a northern Virginia jewelry store robbery that led to a shootout with police that left a bystander wounded, police said.

“Through our investigative efforts with the detectives, we were able to piece together where they were and who they were,” Fairfax County Police Chief Col. Ed Roessler Jr. said.

Police arrested 24-year-old William Franklin and 26-year-old Jasminder Sethi Monday. Both are from Waldorf, Maryland. Franklin is charged with robbery and a firearm offense, and Sethi is charged with robbery, police said.

Federal agents caught Sethi about 200 miles away from Springfield trying to board a flight out of Newark Airport in New Jersey. Franklin was arrested in Waldorf.

Efforts to reach the suspects' families for comment were unsuccessful, according to the Associated Press.

Police said they're still trying to determine the men's roles.

An officer confronted a man leaving Dubai Jewelers in Springfield Saturday and they exchanged gunfire, Roessler said. A shot, likely from the suspect, struck a passing driver, he said. He's confident the bystander will survive.

The suspect crashed a car, carjacked another, then fled on foot, police said.

“They shot at a police officer, they injured a community member," Roessler said. "This is huge. We’ve taken two violent individuals off the street and we’re about to bring them to justice.”

Internal affairs will review the actions of the officer who confronted the gunman in the busy shopping center.

"This officer is a hero," Roessler said.

Muhammad Rayaz, who stared down the barrel of a gun during the robbery, said 80 percent of his inventory at the store was taken in the robbery.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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