Fairfax police say a group of Hispanic gang members Monday attacked a 24-year-old man with a machete, severely injuring his head and upper body and cutting off three fingers on his left hand.
This is the second attack in nine months in which a gang member in Northern Virginia used a machete.
Investigators said yesterday that the victim in the attack Monday is in serious condition at Inova Fairfax Hospital but declined to say whether he was a gang member or whether the attack was part of an ongoing feud between rival gangs.
In May, members of MS-13, a gang of mostly Salvadoran immigrant youth, attacked a 16-year-old member of the Southside Locos in Alexandria. Members of Southside Locos are primarily Hispanic , but the gang accepts youths of other ethnicities, as well.
Police initially reported the victim lost both of his hands, based upon a witness account and because they could not get information from the hospital. The victim sustained severe injuries to his hands, back and head.
Police have only estimates on gang membership in Northern Virginia, but the most recent one is that MS-13 has about 2,000 members in the region.
The fatal shooting of a 17-year-old Herndon male after the machete attack in May also has been linked to MS-13. The incidents drew significant attention to the Washington region’s problem with gangs, prompting the federal government to funnel millions of dollars to anti-gang efforts and to create a national gang intelligence center run by the FBI.