Crime: D.C. Gun Violence Again Makes National Headlines; Local Crime Report
By July 10, 2023 0 941•
Once again a major U.S. holiday – this time, the Fourth of July – is marred by gun violence in the nation’s capital. And again, violence in the District makes the national news.
As Washingtonians know, the National Mall’s Independence Day fireworks celebrations are the main event for the city – drawing thousands of enthusiastic revelers – and the focus of much of the world’s attention. Increasingly, however, D.C. residents are holding their breaths and hoping nothing catastrophic happens.
But this year, in a major headline story, U.S. News reported: “9 people, including 2 kids, are shot and wounded in the nation’s capital as violence mars July 4.”
“Officers responding around 1 a.m. to the mass shooting in a neighborhood about a 20-minute drive east of the White House found a 10-year-old and a 17-year-old among the victims, police said. The victims, who were not publicly identified, were hospitalized with injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening,” the article said. “The gunshots were fired from a dark SUV seen driving through the Deanwood neighborhood.”
In response to the “spate of violence” on July 4th in D.C., U.S. News quoted Washington’s mayor, sounding the now all-too-familiar refrain: “We have too many guns and too many violent people on the street,” said Mayor Bowser Wednesday afternoon. “We have work to do.” Though mass shootings also took place in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Forth Worth and Tampa Bay, the shootings in the nation’s capital are of instant international concern.
As if this gun-violence tragedy in D.C. weren’t enough, a July 3 shooting near the U.S. Capitol also garnered international headlines. CNN reported: “A former Afghan interpreter who immigrated with his family to America in 2021 was shot and killed early Monday in Washington, D.C. while on an extra shift as a Lyft driver…” Nasrat Ahmad, 31, died of a gunshot wound in the stomach just after midnight. “Video from a home nearby on Capitol Hill showed four young people running through an alley after a gunshot rang out,” the Washington Post reported. Ahmad was found unconscious next to his vehicle by responding officers, taken to a hospital and later pronounced dead.
According to Ahmad’s cousin, Nasrat Ahmad came to America with hopes his young girls could receive a safe education. He had chosen to serve alongside American Special Forces in Afghanistan because he “believed there should be more options in Afghanistan for girls, women and kids so they could go to school and live in a peaceful country,” Ahmad’s cousin told CNN. The case is under investigation.
In light of recent headline news, D.C. Mayor Bowser will hold a “Public Safety Media Availability” in the District today, along with Lindsey Appiah, acting deputy mayor for public safety and justice, Leslie Parsons, assistant chief of MPD’s Investigative Services Bureau, and Ward 2 Council member Brook Pinto.
Pinto responded to the tragedies over the July 4 weekend with a round of new legislative proposals including her “Prioritizing Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act,” from her perch as chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety on the D.C. Council. “The crime and violence we have seen in recent days and months is evidence that we must move with urgency to address the crisis we’re seeing in our city,” she said. “The measures I am introducing… are necessary to prevent repeat offenders from further harming and traumatizing our community, hold perpetrators accountable, protect and support victims, ensure police are able to keep our community safe, and increase accountability and transparency around our public safety apparatus.”
According to her website, Pinto’s legislation would encourage crime data- sharing among city agencies, protect victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence, shore up accountability for offenders, and address criminal violence :
- Creating a rebuttable presumption in favor of pre-trial detention for adults who committed a crime of violence;
- Creating a rebuttable presumption in favor of pre-trial detention for juveniles who committed a dangerous crime or a crime of violence whether or not they were armed;
- Expanding the private security camera rebate program.
Weekly Firearm Recoveries
In their “Weekly Firearm Recoveries” report for June 26-July 3, MPD indicated 67 firearms were taken off the streets of the city.
The prevalence of youthful alleged offenders in D.C. appears to continue. Of the 43 listed in the report, 9 were 21 years-old or younger, including one 16-year-old, two 17-year-olds, one 18-year-old and two 19-year-olds.
For the 16 year old, the account included the following description: “ Two Glock 22 .40 caliber handguns, a Glock 30 .45 caliber handgun, a Glock 23 .40 caliber handgun, a Glock 32 .357 caliber handgun, and a Glock 19 9mm caliber handgun were recovered…” The youth, an unidentified juvenile male from northwest D.C. was arrested with multiple others in the 1300 block of 5th St. NW.
Local Crime Report
At the most recent ANC 2E meeting, Sgt. Philip Robinson of MPD’s Second District reported that in the last two months no burglaries had taken place in Georgetown, 2 motor vehicle thefts took place (marking a drop over the previous month by 67 percent), and 3 thefts-from-autos took place (a 50 percent drop). However, overall incidents of theft, mostly shoplifting, rose 14 percent. MPD continues to work closely with the Safeway grocery store on Wisconsin Ave. NW to address shoplifting violations.
Rounding Up the ‘Kennedy Street Crew’
MPD has also requested public assistance in rounding up alleged members of the “Kennedy Street Crew.” On June 27, MPD, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) arrested 12 alleged members of a “violent drug trafficking organization known as the “Kennedy Street Crew,” or “KDY,” on charges including “conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, possession of firearms by persons convicted of a crime, assault with a dangerous weapon, and conspiracy to commit money laundering,” the press release stated. “In addition to the arrests, law enforcement seized multiple firearms and narcotics.”
MPD now seeks the public’s assistance in locating “four additional suspects… wanted pursuant to a U.S. District Court indictment for similar charges that are associated with the previous arrests.”
The wanted suspects can be seen below:
24-year-old Warren Lawrence Fields, III, of Oxon Hill, MD.
19-year-old Keion Michael Brown, of Northwest, DC.
18-year-old Jovan Williams, of Northeast, DC.
27-year-old Juwan Demetrius Clark, of Northwest, DC.
Other Local Crime
On June 30, detectives from MPD’s Sexual Assault Unit requested public assistance in identifying and locating a suspect in reference to a “Third-Degree Sexual Abuse offense” that occurred June 30 in the 1900 block of Calvert St. NW. “At approximately 2:44 a.m., the suspect followed the victim as the victim entered a residential building. Once inside, the suspect assaulted the victim and then engaged in unwanted sexual contact with the victim. The suspect then fled the scene,” the report said.
The suspect is described as a “black male, in his 30’s, approximately 5’10” in height, with a medium build. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants.”
On July 2, detectives from MPD’s Criminal Investigations Division and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives requested public assistance in identifying suspects and a vehicle in reference to “Destruction of Property offenses” that occurred on July 2 in the District. According to the request:
- At approximately 4:30 am, the suspect detonated an explosive device on the sidewalk outside of the ATM at the Truist Bank located in the 2300 block of Washington Place, Northeast then fled the scene in a vehicle. The explosive device caused damage to the location.
- At approximately 4:36 am, the suspect detonated an explosive device on the sidewalk in front of the doors at the Nike Store located in the 700 block of H Street, Northeast, then fled the scene in a vehicle. The explosive device caused damage to the location.
- At approximately 4:45 am, the suspect threw a Molotov cocktail style object at the Safeway store located in the 300 block of 40th Street, Northeast then fled the scene in a vehicle. The Molotov cocktail caused damage to the location.
“In each of these offenses, it appears the suspect targeted commercial establishments and it does not appear the suspect was targeting any members of the public. The establishments were closed at the time of the offenses. There were no reported injuries as a result of these offenses,” MPD said.
Detectives from MPD’s Sexual Assault Unit also requested public assistance in identifying and locating a suspect in reference to “Misdemeanor Sexual Abuse offenses” that occurred in the Second District. “In each of the below offenses the suspect engaged in unwanted sexual contact with the victim at the listed location. The suspect then fled the scene,” the request stated.
- On Thursday, June 1, 2023, at approximately 7:30 pm in the 800 block of 19th Street, Northwest.
“The suspect was captured by a surveillance camera and can be seen in the photo below:
- On Thursday, June 29, 2023, at approximately 9:45 am in the 1300 block of L Street Northwest.
The suspect was captured by a surveillance camera and can be seen in the photo below:
On July 4, detectives from MPD’s Youth and Family Services Division and the Sexual Assault Unit announced the arrest of 28 year-old Freddy Alvarez, of Northwest D.C. in reference to a “Second-Degree Child Sex Abuse offense” and a “Misdemeanor Sexual Abuse offense” that occurred on July 4 in the 1300 block of Fort Stevens Drive, NW. “At approximately 9:30 p.m., the victims were walking at the listed location, when the suspect engaged in unwanted sexual contact with one juvenile victim and one adult victim,” the report said. Upon arrest, Alvarez was charged with the aforementioned counts.
On July 4, detectives from MPD’s Third District requested public assistance in locating a suspect in reference to the following charges: “Assault on a Police Officer, Leaving After Colliding and Theft Two” that occurred on July 4 in the 2000 block of 8th St. NW. “At approximately 10:10 am, the suspect took merchandise from an establishment at the listed location. An employee alerted a uniformed reserve MPD officer who was in the area. When the officer tried to stop the suspect, the suspect struck the victim with her vehicle. The suspect then fled the scene. The reserve officer sustained non-life threatening injuries,” the report said.
The suspect was “last seen in a black Nissan Versa which displayed an unknown Texas tag” and was “captured by a surveillance camera and can be seen in the photos below”:
Detectives from the MPD’’s Third District also requested the public’s assistance in identifying and locating suspects in reference to an “Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (Gun) offense” that occurred on July 4, 2023, in the 1000 block of U Street, NW. “At approximately 12:25 a.m., Third District officers were flagged down at the listed location,” the report said. “The suspects approached the victim while pointing a handgun. The victim was able to flee the area. The victim did not report any injuries.”
The suspects were captured by surveillance cameras and can be seen in the photos below:
On July 8, detectives from MPD’s Third District requested public assistance in locating suspects in reference to a “Robbery (Snatch) offense” that occurred on July 7 in the 2000 block of 18th Street, NW. “At approximately 3:05 p.m.” the report said, “the suspects approached the victim at the listed location. The suspects [then] snatched property from the victim [and] fled the scene.”
The suspects were captured by a surveillance camera and can be seen in the photos below:
On July 8, detectives from MPD’s First District requested public assistance in locating suspects in reference to an “Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (Gun) offense” that occurred on July 8 in the 500 block of K Street NW. “At approximately 1:00 a.m.,” the report said, “ members of the First District responded to the listed location for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, [they] located an adult male shooting victim. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Detectives’ investigation revealed the victim was shot after a verbal altercation with one of the suspects. After the shooting, both suspects fled the scene together.”
The suspects were captured by a surveillance camera and can be seen in the photos below:
On July 9, detectives from the MPD’s Second District announced an arrest in reference to a “Robbery (Snatch) offense” that occurred on July 8, in the 1300 block of Wisconsin Avenue, NW. “At approximately 1:00 p.m.,” the report said, “ the suspect approached the victim at the listed location. The suspect snatched property from the victim then fled the scene,” and was then “apprehended by officers.” On July 8, 34-year-old Mehari Tesfalem of Northeast, D.C., was arrested and charged with “Robbery (Snatch).”