Crime: MPD Chief Cites 2022 Crime-Fighting Gains While Denouncing Gun Violence

On the first day of 2023, MPD Chief Robert Contee released a “Message from the Chief” lauding his department’s crime-fighting efforts last year while acknowledging the District continues to be plagued by an “epidemic” of gun violence. 

“Senseless violence in our city,” took 203 lives last year, Chief Contee began, and “that’s 203 too many, period.” 

The chief’s culprit in these deaths? Illegal guns. 

“…Over and over, we see people turning to illegal guns to commit acts of violence. It is completely unacceptable, and it must stop now. Gun violence is an epidemic that is tearing life from our city,” Contee argued. “What’s left behind are the countless friends and family members whose lives have been forever changed.” 

Despite this wave of “senseless violence,” however, D.C. saw an “overall decrease in crime in 2022” and a “7 percent reduction in violent crimes” as well as a 3 percent reduction in property crimes” compared to 2021. MPD has also taken a “record number of illegal guns off the street, at an average of eight-to-nine guns each day in 2022,” he said. 

Acknowledging that such improved crime trends “do not bring comfort to the family members of the crime victims in 2022,” Contee implored communities and neighborhoods to assist the police in continuing efforts to fight crime in the city.

“Our most powerful tool in combating violence in our neighborhoods and solving crimes is you – our community,” he said. “We can’t do this alone. In every incident, someone knows something. It might seem like something small, but that information could be a piece of the puzzle that helps our detectives solve cases and bring justice to loved ones of victims.” 

To reassure the community, Contee described MPD detectives “working tirelessly to investigate every crime,” and the department’s efforts to boost “community policing and [build] bridges in every neighborhood to stop violence in the first place.” 

MPD can serve as a reliable partner to residents of the District, Contee argued, as it utilizes “intelligence-led policing” to “target individuals we know are committing acts of violence” and “data-driven deployment strategies” to ensure police are where they need to be for best results.

“It is up to all of us, as we start 2023, to do everything in our power to continue the downward trend of violence in the District of Columbia,” Contee said.

Recent MPD Reports:

Police are on the lookout for a suspect in an “Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (Gun)” offense that occurred on Monday, January 2, 2023 in the 1400 block of Spring Road NW. Responding to a reported rooftop shooting, police located an “adult female victim suffering from an apparent gunshot wound” believed to be “non-life threatening.” 

The suspects were captured by a surveillance camera and can be seen in the photos below:

Suspects from incident at 1400 block of Spring Road NW.

Detectives from MPD’s Major Crash Investigations Unit announced on January 1, 2023 the arrest on Friday, December 30, 2022 of 35 year-old Spiro Stafilatos, of no fixed address. Stafilatos was charged with “Murder II, Aggravated Assault, No Permit, and Misuse of Tags” stemming from a deadly car crash near the White House at 14th Street and New York Avenue NW on December 30, 2022.

Per MPD reports, U.S. Secret Service officers “engaged in a traffic stop of the operator of a 2001 Buick LeSabre in the 700 block of 15th Street, NW because the car was “not registered and was displaying an incorrect license plate.” During the stop, however, the vehicle “fled from officers by turning right on the 1400 block of New York Avenue”  and running through a red light where it collided into a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic traveling southbound on 14th Street. The collision “caused the Buick to spin and enter a crosswalk” and strike two female pedestrians walking southbound in accordance with the walk signal. Following medical treatment, one of the female victims was later pronounced dead and the other in critical condition. 

On December 30, MPD announced the arrest of 32-year-old Tajh Robinson, of no fixed address, on charges of Burglary Two of an Establishment at approximately 4:45 p.m. the previous day  in the 1000 block of U Street NW.  Robinson is believed to have “ entered an establishment at the listed location,” and “once inside… took property and then fled the scene,” only to be later “apprehended by responding officers.” 

MPD is also investigating the shooting death of 21-year-old Jhonatan Guzman Hernandez of Upper Marlboro, Maryland that occurred Friday, December 30, 2022 in the 2400 block of 15th Street NW. 

Detectives from MPD’s Second District are also seeking the public’s assistance in “locating suspects and a vehicle in reference to an Armed Robbery (Gun) Offense” that occurred on Thursday, December 29, 2022 in the 1300 block of 18th Street NW.  “At approximately 2:08 am, three suspects, in a vehicle, approached the victims at the listed location. The suspects exited the vehicle, brandished handguns, and demanded the victim’s property. The victims did not comply and the suspects assaulted the victims. The suspects took the property and then fled the scene in a vehicle,” MPD reported. “One of the victim’s credit cards was later used at an establishment.”

A person of interest and the suspect vehicle were captured by surveillance cameras and can be seen in the the MPD-released photos below:

Surveillance photo from incident at 1300 block of 18th Street NW.

Surveillance photo from incident at 1300 block of 18th Street NW.

On December 28, MPD’s Homicide Branch issued a call for the “public’s assistance in locating suspects in several homicide offenses.”  

Police are on the lookout for 26-year-old Deonte Patterson of Southeast D.C. wanted on a “Second Degree Murder While Armed” charge in the shooting death of 32-year old Ali Jamil Al-Mahdi of Southeast D.C. on the 1800 block of 9th Street NW on Monday, August 23, 2021. 

Patterson can be seen in the the MPD-released photo below:

Deonte Patterson.

MPD is also searching for 19-year old Herson Guzman of Northwest D.C. on a “First Degree Murder While Armed (Gun)” charge in the shooting death of 17-year-old Samuel Hernandez of Hyattsville, Maryland on the 200 block of Allison Street NW on Monday, December 20, 2021. 

Guzman can be seen in the MPD-released photo below:


Herson Guzman.

D.C. police are also searching for 24-year-old Dwayne Brooks, Jr. of Southeast D.C. wanted on a “First Degree Murder” charge in the killing of 21-year-old Juwaan Henry of Silver Spring on the 800 block of 7th Street NW on Thursday, August 23, 2022. 

Brooks can be seen in the the MPD-released photo below:

Dwayne Brooks, Jr.

A suspect is also sought in an “Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (Gun) Offense” that occurred on Friday, December 30, 2022 on the 6900 block of Maple Street NW. “At approximately 10:36 a.m., the victim confronted the suspect at the listed location,” MPD reported. “ The suspect [then] discharged a firearm in the direction of the victim” and “fled the scene in the victim’s vehicle. The victim’s vehicle was recovered a short time later.”

The suspect was captured by a nearby surveillance camera and can be seen in the photo below:

Surveillance photo from incident at 6900 block of Maple Street NW.


Detectives from MPD’s Second District announced the arrest of 34-year-old Caprice Toyer of Southeast D.C. on charges of Robbery (Force and Violence) in a Thursday, December 29, 2022 incident in the 900 block of 14th Street NW. “At approximately 7:45 p.m., the suspect approached the victim at the listed location,” MPD reported, and then “assaulted the victim,” “took property,” and “fled the scene.” Toyer, however, was apprehended shortly after by responding officers. 

MPD announced the arrest of 32-year-old Richard Johnson of Northwest, D.C. on charges of “Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (Gun)” that occurred on Saturday, December 24, 2022 in the 900 block of M Street NW. “At approximately 4:26 p.m.,” MPD reported, “Third District officers were flagged down for the report of a shooting.” Upon arrival, they “located an adult male victim suffering from a gunshot wound” later determined to be non-life-threatening. Upon investigation detectives “learned that the victim and suspect” were “known to each other.” 

On Wednesday December 28, detectives from MPD’s Third District requested the public’s assistance in locating suspects in a “Burglary Two of an Establishment Offense” that occurred on Tuesday, December 27 in the 600 block of T Street NW. “At approximately 9:25 p.m., three suspects forcibly gained entry into an establishment… took property then fled the scene.” 

On Wednesday December 28, Second District detectives announced the arrest of 47-year-old William Benbow, of Alexandria, Virginia, on charges of “Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (Gun)” on the 900 block of 23rd Street NW at approximately 3:14 a.m. that same day. “The suspect and victim were engaged in a verbal altercation” when the “suspect brandished a knife and attempted to stab the victim,” according to MPD. Responding officers then apprehended the suspect. 

Per MPD: “Anyone who can identify these suspects or who has knowledge of [these incidents] should take no action but call police at (202) 727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s TEXT TIP LINE at 50411. The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers [particular rewards] to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for a violent crime committed in the District of Columbia.”


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