US Army colonel, 55, and his veteran wife, 63, who were shot dead at point-blank range in the driveway of their Virginia home ‘were targeted by two gunmen who wanted to confront the couple’s SON about a robbery’

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  • US Army Colonel Edward McDaniel Jr, 55, and his wife, 63-year-old Brenda McDaniel, a retired colonel and nurse, were shot dead in Virginia on May 26
  • Ronnie Marshall, 20, and D’Angelo Strand, 19, have been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony
  • Strand testified against Marshall, saying he had gone to McDaniels’ home to confront their son after allegedly being robbed by him
  • Mike McDaniel, couple’s son, has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crime 
  • Strand, who had his charges downgraded in exchange for testimony, claimed  Marshall shot the couple because they recognized him and called him by name 

A distinguished military couple who were shot dead outside their Virgina home six months ago were allegedly targeted over their son’s suspected involvement in an earlier robbery, according to court records and witness testimony.

US Army Colonel Edward McDaniel Jr, 55, and his wife, 63-year-old Brenda McDaniel, a retired colonel and nurse, were found shot to death from a point-blank range in the driveway of their Springfield, Virginia, home on May 26.

A day later, police arrested two suspects, identified as Ronnie Marshall, 20, and D’Angelo Strand, 19, charging each with two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

US Army Colonel Edward McDaniel Jr, 55, and his wife, 63-year-old Brenda McDaniel, a retired colonel and nurse, were shot dead in Virginia on May 26
US Army Colonel Edward McDaniel Jr, 55, and his wife, 63-year-old Brenda McDaniel, a retired colonel and nurse, were shot dead in Virginia on May 26
Ronnie Marshall, 20
Ronnie Marshall, 20
D'Angelo Strand, 19
D’Angelo Strand, 19

Police at the time did not disclose a motive, but during a preliminary hearing earlier this month, Strand, who has agreed to testify against Marshall in exchange for having his charges downgraded, told the court that the two of them had gone to the McDaniels’ home to confront their son, Mike McDaniel, reported The Washington Post.

According to Strand, Marshall was looking for Mike because he had been part of a group that had robbed Marshall a few days prior. All three men knew each other from working together at a FedEx warehouse.

Mike McDaniel has denied robbing Marshall, and his lawyer stressed that his client has not been charged with any crime.

During the December 6 hearing, a Fairfax County judge found sufficient probable cause to send Marshall’s case to a grand jury.

Strand testified in early December that he and Marshall had gone to the McDaniels' home in Springfield to confront their son about allegedly robbing Marshall two days earlier
Strand testified in early December that he and Marshall had gone to the McDaniels’ home in Springfield to confront their son about allegedly robbing Marshall two days earlier

Meanwhile, prosecutors have downgraded Strand’s charges to a single count of accessory after a homicide, to which he is expected to plead guilty next month.

According to court filings from Marshall’s former attorney, prosecutors claim that Mike McDaniel and two others attacked Marshall, stole money from him and called the police on him while he was at the McDaniel family’s home on May 24.

Police had previously said they were called to the family’s home on Flint Street that day for a report of a burglary.

An emergency dispatcher who answered the 911 call told police the caller and her husband – Brenda and Edward McDaniel – were upstairs with a shotgun while ‘the suspect’ was in the basement.

‘Caller is advising the subject is after her son and that he [the son] is with them upstairs,’ the dispatcher said.

The next day after the alleged robbery, co-workers at the FedEx warehouse where Mike McDaniel, Marshall and Strand worked learned about what had happened, and Marshall was said to have been angry and embarrassed.

On the morning of May 26 , Mike McDaniel was allegedly talking to someone on FaceTime when he told that person that Marshall was standing outside his family’s brick house with a gun and that he needed to call the police.

Edward and Brenda McDaniel had just returned from walking their dogs when they were allegedly confronted by Marshall and Strand in their driveway.

Marshall allegedly told Strand that he shot the distinguished military couple because they recognized him and called him by his first name
Marshall allegedly told Strand that he shot the distinguished military couple because they recognized him and called him by his first name

Marshall was said to have asked the couple where their son was and whether he would get his stolen property back, according to Strand’s court testimony.

The couple seemingly recognized their son’s co-worker and called Marshall by his first name, Ronnie, at which point he allegedly pulled out a gun and shot each victim in the head.

As Marshall and Strand sped away from the scene in Strand’s 2018 light-colored Nissan Altima, Marshall allegedly told his accomplice that he had to shoot the McDaniels because ‘they knew his name.’

Matt Leonard, an Army Spokesperson. told DailyMail.com after the arrests that Brenda McDaniel served as a Medical-Surgical Nurse in the Army from September 1983 to September 2009, when she retired – also at the rank of colonel.

He said Col. Brenda McDaniel’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, five Meritorious Service Medal, a Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Army Commendation Medal, and an Army Achievement Medal, among other awards. 

‘We’ve lost two brave, dedicated, life-long servants to our country,’ Davis said on Thursday. 

‘Two full colonels were murdered in a residential neighborhood community.’ 

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