The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office employee who was the victim of a carjacking at gunpoint in the early morning of Wednesday, July 12 was a senior officer with command responsibilities, according to multiple law enforcement sources.
In the course of the incident, the officer’s service pistol, a county-issued phone, and his personal vehicle were stolen. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has launched an internal investigation.
The Loudoun and Clarke Sheriff’s offices have declined to confirm the identity of Loudoun officer involved. According to the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office, the officer was also on sick leave at the time of the incident, and remains on sick leave for a non-work-related issue.
Just after 4 a.m. July 12, the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a person stating that his vehicle was stolen by an unknown person at gunpoint. The alleged carjacker is 24-year-old Zakarea Alzanam from Schenectady, NY, who was on parole and had previously been convicted of felony robbery.
According to Clarke County Sheriff’s Office, the Loudoun officer gave Alzanam a ride from Loudoun to the J&J Corner Store on Rt. 7 near Berryville. After dropping him off, the officer found his phones missing and returned to find Alzanam. At that point, Alzanam managed to take a weapon from the officer’s personal SUV—the officer’s service pistol—and ordered the officer out of the car.
Alzanam drove away north on Sheperds Mill Road, driving off the road about a mile north of Rt. 7. He fled an attempted traffic stop, headed back south, and crashed near Rt. 7. He then fled into the woods on foot.
Units from Clarke County, Loudoun County, the Town of Berryville, Frederick County, the Virginia State Police, and Fairfax County Police Department helicopter joined the search. Ultimately, Alzanam was located by three local residents, who spotted him in a field near Chilly Hollow Road as they were getting ready for their workday and held Alzanam at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived.
Alzanam was taken into custody and transported to the Northwest Virginia Regional Adult Detention Center after being medically cleared at the Winchester Medical Center. He has been charged with carjacking, auto theft, firearm theft, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and eluding police. He is being held without bond.
The criminal investigation is being conducted by the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office.
This article was updated July 19 at 6:31 p.m. to correct the spelling of Zakarea Alzanam’s name.