D.C. passes 100 homicides for 2014 with 4 killed over unusually violent holiday

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By Andrea Noble - The Washington Times - Thursday, December 25, 2014

Washington, D.C., surpassed 100 homicides for the year in the course of an unusually violent Christmas Eve in which five people were killed — including one by police after he opened fire on officers.

The city recorded four homicides in less than six hours resulting from separate incidents that spanned from the outside of a bar in the Petworth neighborhood of Northwest to the Barry Farm housing complex in Southeast. Metropolitan Police Department officers also shot two men in the same period, killing one and wounding another.

A police spokesman was not able to verify Thursday the total number of homicides in the District this year, but unofficial counts put the number at 102. That figure does not include the police-involved shootings.

Police reported 104 homicides last year, including the 12 people killed in a mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard in September 2013. In 2012, the city had 88 killings — the first, and still only, time fewer than 100 homicides were recorded during the course of a year since 1963.

Police on Thursday were able to provide few details about the six Christmas Eve incidents, save for the names and ages of some of the victims. It was unknown whether any of the shootings were connected.

No arrests have been made in any of the homicides, though the man who survived being shot officers is in police custody and was expected to be charged with assault on a police officer and armed carjacking.

The first of the evening’s homicide victims was a woman shot outside of the Sabor Latino Bar and Grill at 3910 14th Street Northwest, around 5:30 p.m., according to police Cmdr. Wilfredo Manlapaz.

Police have not released the woman’s name. The only detail issued about a possible suspect was a description of a Hispanic man last seen wearing a red shirt and white pants.

Around 9 p.m., officers were called to the 1200 block of Stevens Road in Southeast for a report of gunshots. They found 28-year-old Gregory Lee, of Southeast, dead at the scene.

At 9:55 p.m., officers responded to another report of gunshots, this time in the 2600 block of Sherman Avenue in Northwest. A man with gunshot wounds was found inside of a building. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man’s identity was not released as police were working to notify his next of kin.

The night’s fourth homicide victim was identified as Marquiz Anthony Robinson, 25, of Centreville, Virginia. Police responded to the 800 block of Bladensburg Road at about 10:13 p.m. for reports of a shooting and found Mr. Robinson unconscious nearby in the 1600 block of Maryland Avenue. He was transported to a hospital, where he died.

The two police-involved shootings happened in Southeast in Naylor Gardens and in Northeast in Brentwood.

The first incident unfolded around 3:12 p.m. when officers tried to stop a man who matched the description of a suspect in a robbery that had just occurred.

The officers followed the man and cornered him in the 2800 block of Erie Street Southeast, said police union Chairman Delroy Burton.

“He pulled out a gun and they shot him,” Mr. Burton said.

Police officials said in a statement that the man “fled, turned toward the pursuing officers and discharged a firearm at them,” prompting the officers to return fire, striking him.

The man who was killed has not been identified by police.

Four officers were involved in the incident and will be placed on administrative leave while the actions taken are investigated, Mr. Burton said. It was unclear how many of the officers fired their weapons.

The second police-involved shooting stemmed from a carjacking, police officials said.

Officers were responding to a call for an armed carjacking of a FedEx van in the 1300 block of Adams Street in Northeast.

They were chasing the vehicle when the man stopped in an alley behind the 1600 block of W Street in Northeast. Police said he got out of the vehicle and began firing a gun at the officers. The officers returned fire and injured the man.

Mr. Burton said five officers will be placed on administrative leave from that incident. It was unclear how many fired their guns.

The carjacking suspect was taken to a hospital for treatment and remained in police custody. Police did not release the man’s name Thursday but said they plan to charge him with assault on a police officer and armed carjacking.

D.C. police shot at least four other people this year, in addition to the events on Christmas Eve. Information on the department’s website details four other officer-involved shootings this year. Three of those four shootings were fatal.

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