Edward McDaniel Jr. and Brenda McDaniel were named as the husband and wife military veterans and physicians who were shot to death in their front yard in Springfield, Virginia, in a mysterious double murder described as “heinous” by the police chief.
Kevin Davis, Fairfax County police chief, called it a “brutal murder….It’s a tragedy. It’s something that shouldn’t happen… we need to bring this person to justice. We still need to identify this killer and get him off the street.” Davis said the gunman is “likely still local.”
“They did nothing wrong. They were tragically, horribly murdered in their neighborhood,” he said. Edward McDaniel was 55 and Brenda McDaniel was 63. “This was not a random act of violence, not at all.” He believes the shooter or shooters are known to a relative of the two victims. He didn’t name that relative. He also said that a son of the victims may have been inside the home.
“The two homeowners were shot and killed in their front yard,” Davis said. He called it a “vicious double murder.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Victims Were Described as ‘Two Distinguished Military Veterans’ Who Worked as Physicians
Both victims served in the U.S. military.
“A man and a woman, a husband and a wife, two distinguished military veterans, were gunned down in their front yard. Served our community for many years,” said the chief. “They were shot and killed in cold blood in their own front yard.”
They were both physicians in the military – Brenda was retired and Edward was in active service. According to WTOP-TV, Edward was an active duty colonel.
At 9:20 a.m., a 911 call came in from Springfield for a “break in event.” Officers arrived within two minutes and they “did locate two people shot in their front yard,” said Major Ed O’Carroll in the news conference.
Both individuals suffered from apparent multiple gunshot wounds, he said.
“The victims had honorable military service to our country,” said O’Carroll.
2. Authorities Are Seeking a Light Colored Nissan Altima
Chief Davis and Major Ed O’Carroll “updated the community tonight on this morning’s tragic double homicide in Springfield,” Fairfax County police wrote on Facebook.
They are seeking the following car: a “light colored 2018 Nissan Altima MD:1EF1479. If seen call 911.” It has Maryland registration, authorities say.
Davis warned the public, “the car could be parked in your neighborhood right now.” The vehicle “fled the scene,” authorities said.
The offender or offenders in this case should be considered armed and dangerous, authorities said. There is a $10,000 reward.
3. Authorities Believe an Entry to the Couple’s House on Monday Is Connected to the Murders
Authorities responded to a call about a dispute and burglary in progress two days before the deaths.
The motive remains unclear, but an incident that happened on Monday, May 24, 2021, is connected, authorities believe.
“We were out there on Monday. We were actively working an investigation. All the records associated with that case were pulled,” O’Carroll confirmed. “Monday’s response is directly connected to today’s tragedy.”
As to motive, he said, “We’re open minded. We haven’t defined a motive to this tragedy.”
4. Brenda McDaniel Worked at the Army Nurse Cops
On Facebook, Brenda McDaniel wrote that she “Worked at Army Nurse Corps” and studied Doctor of Nursing Practice at Walden University and the University of Phoenix. She received a master’s degree from Central Michigan University.
She received a bachelor’s degree in Nursing at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Brenda went to J.F. Webb High School and was from Kansas City, Missouri.
The couple shared a joint Facebook page called “Ed and Brenda McDaniel.”
5. Friends & Neighbors Called the McDaniels a ‘Power Couple’ But Alleged Their Teenagers Brought Trouble Into the Neighborhood
On Facebook, those who knew the couple praised them highly, with one man labeling them a “power couple.”
“The teenage kids, their friends are bad people,” Carlos Buendia, a neighbor, said to WUSA9. “They bring weapons into the neighborhood.”
Neighbors said the family kept to themselves other than when they would be spotted walking their dog.
A message from “Brenda and Ed” read, “I am excited about 2015 Bike MS Ride Virginia and joining Team Coop. Brenda and I believe in and support this wonderful event. This is my first major biking event, and it is never to late to start a new hobby and make new friends. I ask your support and all donations go to National MS society for research.”