Neighbors, friends remember Old Town murder victim as friendly, caring

DCW50 News

(L) Suspect: Pankaj Bhasin, 34
(R) Victim: Bradford Jackson, 65

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Police have identified the man killed inside a business in Old Town as Bradford Jackson, 65.

According to Alexandria Police, officers were called to the 1200 block of King Street, a busy area right near popular shops and restaurants, around 11:49 a.m. on Friday.

Officers were dispatched to a call about a suspicious death. Upon arriving, police say they found a man inside a business who was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The landlord of the building where police were investigating said Jackson was the sole employee of the Window Universe store.

He found Jackson on Friday and saw that inside of the business appeared to be ransacked.

Neighbors in the tight-knit Warwick Village community describe Jackson, a neighbor for more than 20 years, as a friendly and kind person.

"He was big into biking and so he'd be out and about, always a big smile on his face, always very nice," said Bridget, a neighbor.

Close friends also tell DCW50 Jackson was a "great guy" and known for riding his bike throughout Alexandria.

Police say they arrested Pankaj Bhasin, 34, of New Jersey, for Jackson's murder.

They have not released the murder weapon, but a spokeswoman says they do not have a reason to believe the two knew each other. However, it is still a part of their active and on-going investigation.

Owner of Bath Plus Kitchen, two doors down from Window Universe, says Bhasin got into the back of a woman's Mercedes, while she was in the car with her daughter, before police arrived.

"She was saying, 'there’s someone in my car, there’s someone in my car, a naked man in my car, and I’m like what is going on here, this is crazy," says Eric Shipe.

Police have said that Bhasin was not naked, but Shipe, as well as his co-workers are certain that he was not wearing pants when he was inside the Mercedes.

"It’s a normal Friday, nice, sunny day,  and next thing you know this is happening."

Bhasin has retained well-known lawyer, Peter Greenspun, to represent him.

In a statement to DCW50, Greenspun said:

"We are beginning our investigation into the circumstances of the charge against Pankaj Bhasin, including his mental health condition over the last several weeks. This matter is very difficult for all concerned and Mr. Bhasin's family expresses their sympathies to the victim and his family. This difficult situation will be fully investigated and litigated in the courtroom. We request privacy for the Bhasin family during this difficult time."

Loved ones of Jackson have created a GoFundMe to help fundraise for funeral costs.

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