A Gainesville man has been arrested and charged with murder in the death of Zavier O. Stringfellow, 19, a former all-state football player, who was found dead in a crashed minivan Friday night in Vienna.
Johnny E. Bonilla, 22, 13289 Catharpin Valley Drive, Gainesville was charged with murder at around 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 29.
According to a statement issued by Fairfax County Police, members of the U.S. Marshals Service were assisted by Prince William County and Fairfax County officers and arrested the suspect at his home.
Police say Stringfellow and Bonilla didn’t know each other before, but planned to meet Friday evening. When they met, police say, there was a struggle and Bonilla stabbed Stringfellow.
Stringfellow was a starter on the defensive line for four years at Battlefield High School, which won the 2010 Division 6 state championship. He was a sophomore at Ferrum College where he played defensive end.
"The hardest thing is to imagine what his mom and girlfriend are going through,” says Rebecca Naylor, a friend of the victim. “I can't imagine what I would do if it happened to me."
Detectives were investigating the death as an apparent homicide after investigators say he was stabbed to death,
Police say Stringfellow was found Friday night in a minivan that crashed into a barrier at the end of a service road off Chain Bridge Road near Glengyle Drive.
"Anything you needed him to do, he would do it - whether it was the weight room or on the field,” says his friend and teammate Scott Puschell. “I’m still in shock and I don’t want to believe it.”