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…”
By May 27, 2021, police announced they had two suspects in custody; they were searching for a 20-year-old suspect earlier in the day. The suspects are now in custody and accused of murder and firearms violations. D’Angelo Strand, 19, and Ronnie Keandre Marshall were named as the suspects.
“There were two people involved in this crime… there are two people responsible for this heinous, vicious crime and they are in custody, said the chief. “Thanks to the community, we got our offenders.”
“They did nothing wrong. They were tragically, horribly murdered in their neighborhood,” Davis 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 Were Seeking a Light Colored Nissan Altima But They Found it At a Local Business
On the morning of May 27, authorities received a tip that the vehicle was at a business in Virginia. They found the Nissan vehicle and then found the “operator of that vehicle” and took him into custody.
“The vehicle of interest in the Flint St. homicide, a 2018 Nissan Altima, was located thanks to a community tip. A second person of interest was taken into custody. Ronnie Keandre Marshall has not yet been located, call 911 with information,” police wrote. Then, they said, “Two suspects from the Flint St. homicide have been taken into custody. Details will be shared by Chief Kevin Davis at a 6 p.m. news conference at Public Safety Headquarters.” It was then revealed the suspects were Marshall and Strand.
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 were seeking the following car: a “light colored 2018 Nissan Altima MD:1EF1479. If seen call 911.” It has Maryland registration, authorities say. Tips from community led authorities to the suspects. NBC Washington reported that police found the car.
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. Authorities said the motive “was a dispute” and one of the two defendants was at the home on Monday. But the nature of the dispute is not yet clear. They think it’s related to the murders. They were conducting an active burglary investigation, authorities revealed.
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.”
There were two relatives of the couple inside the home when the slayings happened, police said.
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.”