The two suspects in custody after the killing of a military doctor and his wife, a retired military nurse, Wednesday in Springfield, Virginia, were coworkers of a relative of the victims, police say.
Fairfax County police said in an update Thursday that they had two people in custody after the killings of Dr. Edward McDaniel Jr., 55, and Brenda McDaniel, 63.
Ronnie Marshall, 20, and D'Angelo Strand, 19, are charged with second-degree murder.
“We’re here because two pillars of our community, of our country, really, we’re gunned down viciously in their own front yard,” Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said at a news conference Thursday evening.
Thanks to a community tip, police found a car believed to be connected to the shooting. Police were searching for a light-colored 2018 Nissan Altima with Maryland license plates.
The McDaniels, military veterans, were killed outside their home in the 8000 block of Flint Street.
Edward McDaniel Jr. was an active duty colonel doctor at Fort Belvoir, police said. His wife was a retired military nurse in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps.
“We’ve lost two brave, dedicated, life-long servants to our country,” Davis said. “Two full colonels were murdered in a residential neighborhood community.”
Maj. Ed O'Carroll said the killings were directly related to an incident at the same home Monday.
Police were called to the home at about 9:20 a.m. Officers responded within two minutes, Davis said.
At least one family member of the couple was home at the time of the crime, the police chief said.
An aerial view of the scene from Chopper4 shows a leafy neighborhood.
Officers were called to the home Monday about an altercation and potential burglary in progress, Davis said.
On a dispatch call to responding officers, a dispatcher can be heard saying the caller and her husband were upstairs with a shotgun in their home. “The subject” was in the basement.
“Caller is advising the subject is after her son and that he is with them upstairs,” the dispatcher said.
Two days later, the parents, not the son, were killed.
The victims were highly decorated.
Col. Edward McDaniel was an internal medicine doctor in the Army from June 1995 to May 2021. He was director of executive medicine at Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital.
His awards and decorations include: Meritorious Service Medals, Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medal, Army Superior Unit Award, National Defense Service Medals, Iraqi Campaign Medals, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbons and the Combat Medic Badge.
Col. Brenda McDaniel was a medical-surgical nurse in the Army from September 1983 to September 2009.
Her awards and decorations include: the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medals, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medals, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbons and Presidential Service Identification Badge.
The deaths mark the ninth and 10th homicides in Fairfax County this year so far, an increase from the count last year at this time.
A $10,000 reward for information is being offered in this case.
Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.