Attacks have gas station patrons on edge

Business was brisk at some area gas stations Tuesday in the hours following the latest sniper shooting.

Customers at several Woodbridge gas stations said that’s because they thought it was safe while the sniper was elsewhere — in Maryland.

“I know he did it today, so I’ll be good for a few days,” said Betty Merrix of Woodbridge filling up pickup truck at the Wawa on Opitz Boulevard in Woodbridge.

“I normally sit in my cab,” she said. On Tuesday, she admitted to be nervous and to keep moving kept ducking into the cab to play with her young son strapped in his seat.

But her guard is still up: “He’s going to work his way back around,” she said. A co-worker called off having her daughter come in from out of town. “We don’t go out anymore,” she said.

A Woodbridge man gassing up next to her said he does not travel at night anymore.

“D.C. we feel safe. Virginia suburbs not so much,” said Naeem Malik of Woodbridge, a taxicab driver based out of the District.

He always looks around, moves around when outside, he said.

Not everyone is scared at the pump.

Some customers said they were there because the car was on empty — they had no choice.

“Am I worried about it? No. I firmly believe when your time is up, your time is up,” said Dan Glass, 46, a homeless man sitting in front of the Target in Woodbridge. He said he feels safer because security is beefed up by police and businesses including Target. He sees more cruisers on patrol, he said.

Near Glass, a man was stopped by store security and handcuffed for shoplifting.

“See, these guys are on top of it. This is what I’m talking about — heightened security.”

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