WASHINGTON — A 5-year-old girl is dead, and another child is struggling to recover from gunshot wounds after a Sunday night shooting at a McLean, Virginia, apartment. The shooter is the girl’s mother, who, court documents show, was in a yearslong custody battle and about to move as part of the resulting agreement.
Veronica Youngblood, of McLean, is facing a charge of second-degree murder. The victim of the shooting was Youngblood’s youngest daughter, news partner NBC Washington confirmed. She is the mother of two, but it’s unclear how the other child who was critically injured in the shooting is related to Youngblood.
At 10:45 p.m. Sunday, Fairfax County police officers arrived at an apartment on Lincoln Circle to find two kids inside, shot and clinging to life. As they rushed to stabilize the kids and get them to the hospital, police Lt. Chris Sharp said one of them died.
A half-hour later, police said a 911 call came in from Ashburn, Virginia, from someone describing themselves as an acquaintance of Youngblood’s, reporting she had just knocked on the front door and there was cause for concern, police said.
When they arrested Youngblood at the Ashburn townhouse, officers found the gun they believe was used in the crime.
Court documents obtained by NBC Washington show Youngblood was two years divorced from her 5-year-old daughter’s father and that she reluctantly agreed to move to Sedalia, Missouri, where he was being relocated to uphold the terms of their custody agreement. Both parents were expected to move at the beginning of August 2018, the documents said.
The documents also show that in November 2016, her ex-husband took out a protective order against Youngblood, mentioning that she had access to a weapon.
Fairfax County police cannot share any information about the age or gender of the victims as parental consent has not been given, citing state code meant to protect a crime victim’s rights to privacy. Police are still investigating the motive behind the shooting.
Youngblood is being held without bond until her first appearance before a judge Tuesday.
“Our detectives are continuing to piece together what happened that led up the events of last night’s shootings,” said Fairfax County police spokeswoman Tara Gerhard during a Monday morning news conference.
Below is a map of the area of the shooting.