A Salvadoran man who was ordered deported nearly a decade ago but never left has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in a series of shootings and a knife attack in a Virginia suburb of Washington, authorities said Friday.
Jose Oswaldo Reyes Alfaro, an illegal immigrant, was charged in the pair of attacks blocks apart Thursday night that left three people dead and three others injured, Manassas Police Chief Doug Keen said.
Reyes Alfaro knew all of the victims, he said, but police were still sorting out the exact relationships. The county’s chief prosecutor said he’ll likely seek to upgrade the charges to capital murder, which could carry the death penalty.
The killings touched off further discussion of illegal immigration in Manassas and surrounding Prince William County, which was one of the early flashpoints in the national debate over whether local authorities should play a role in enforcing the nation’s immigration laws.
“It’s another abject failure of the federal government,” said state Delegate Jackson Miller, R-Manassas, a former city council member and police officer. “Now we have three innocent victims in my city — about a mile from my house there’s a murderous rampage. I am furious. … Yet it happens over and over and over again, and then we have to hear all of these apologetic excuses as to why we shouldn’t be addressing criminal illegal aliens on the state or local level. It’s just disgusting.”
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