Friday, February 8, 2019

Memorial for a double slaying: Joseph Burgess and Regina Bowman | 3300 Block of Ely Place SE DC

From a DC police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a homicide that occurred on Saturday, January 5, 2019, in the 3300 Block of Ely Place SE, Washington DC. At approximately 6:30 am, DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the listed location for a residential fire. Once the fire was extinguished, two victims were located inside the residence. Both victims displayed no signs consistent with life. On Sunday, January 6, 2019, an autopsy was performed on the victims’ remains. As a result, the manner of death for each victim was ruled a homicide. The first decedent has been identified as Joseph Burgess, 60, of Southeast DC. The second decedent has been identified as Regina Bowman, 50, of Southeast DC.

Thank you to Lara Ajami for her help identifying this memorial site.






Abdul Watts | 5300 block of Dix Street NE DC

This memorial to Abdul Watts is at the edge of a community garden adjacent to Clay Terrace in Northeast DC. It is a neighborhood that has long been deeply challenged by violence.




From a DC Police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a homicide that occurred on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, in the 5300 block of Dix Street NE, Washington DC. At approximately 3:35 pm, members of the Sixth District responded to the listed location for the report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, officers discovered an adult male victim suffering from apparent stab wounds. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and transported the victim to an area hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries. After all life-saving efforts failed, the victim, identified as Abdul Watts, 46, of District Heights, MD, was pronounced dead.

Curtis Wills-Bey | 3000 block of Stanton Road SE DC

I believe this shrine is in honor of the memory of Curtis Wills-Bey. There have been numerous homicides in this area over the years. I trust that safety and peace returns, and that Mr. Wills-Bey rests in peace.

From a DC Police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a homicide that occurred on Saturday, December 29, 2018, in the 3000 block of Stanton Road SE, Washington DC. At approximately 2:21 pm, members of the Seventh District responded to the listed location for the report for a shooting. Upon arrival, officers discovered an adult male suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and transported the victim to an area hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries. After all life-saving efforts failed, the victim, identified as Curtis Wills-Bey, 53, of Southeast DC, was pronounced dead.


Albert Ford | Police tape. 3700 block of O Street SE DC

From a DC police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a homicide that occurred on Thursday, January 24, 2019, in the 3700 block of O Street SE, Washington DC. At approximately 8:20 pm, members of the Sixth District responded to the listed location for the report of the sounds of gunshots. Upon arrival, officers located an adult male suffering from a gunshot wound. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and determined the victim displayed no signs consistent with life. The decedent’s identity is being withheld due to pending next of kin notification.
DC Witness identifies the victim as Albert Ford, 56.

This is a very quiet neighborhood, and trouble of this nature is very rare in the area. I wish continued peace and safety for the residents.

Shamar Marbury | Police tape. 4200 block of Barnaby Road SE DC

From a DC police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a homicide that occurred on Tuesday, January 1, 2019, in the 4200 block of Barnaby Road SE, Washington DC. At approximately 8:43 pm, members of the Seventh District responded to the listed location for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers discovered a male victim, inside of a residential building, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and transported the victim to an area hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries. After all life-saving efforts failed, the victim was pronounced dead. The decedent has been identified as Shamar Marbury, 19, of Northeast DC.


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Washington's Other Monuments | An exhibition at Temple Sinai, DC

Washington DC's Temple Sinai Gun Prevention Group is presenting a photography and videography exhibition and and a panel discussion. Photographer Lloyd Wolf and videographer Curtis Mozie will be joined by Ryane Nickens of the TraRon Center, veteran DC homicide detective Mitch Credle, and moderator Steve Klitzman.









Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Crime tape and Hello Kitty: site of the splaying of James Lamont Stewart | 800 block of Varnum Street NW DC

From a DC Police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a homicide that occurred on Sunday, January 6, 2019, in the 800 block of Varnum Street NW, Washington DC. At approximately 10:54 pm, members of the Fourth District responded to the listed location for the report of the sounds of gunshots. Upon arrival, officers discovered an adult male victim suffering from gunshot wounds. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and transported the victim to an area hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries. After all life-saving efforts failed, the victim was pronounced dead. The decedent has been identified as James Lamont Stewart, 28, of Capitol Heights, Maryland.


Thursday, December 27, 2018

Shrine to LGBTQ homicide victims at Casa Ruby, Georgia Avenue NW DC

I was covering Jewish volunteer efforts on Christmas Day at Casa Ruby, a bilingual center in Washington DC that "provides life saving services to the most vulnerable" LBTQ individuals in the DC area, and was shown this memorial to the many victims of homicide who were targeted just for being who they are.

I spoke about the memorial with executive director and founder, Ruby Corado. She told me that the shrine was built inside, rather than on the street, as a way to protect the memorial from bigotry and vandalism. It serves to honor those who lost their lives due to intolerance and hate.There are forty-seven individuals who the shrine commemorates.

Peace. Paz.



Friday, December 21, 2018

Police tape | 3100 block of South Manchester Street, Falls Church VA

This police tape marks the site of a murder-suicide that occurred in the Seven Corners area of Fairfax County, Virginia.

From a Fairfax County Police report: Mason District – Our Major Crimes and Crime Scene detectives continue to investigate after a man and woman were found dead outside of the entrance to an apartment building earlier today. Officers responded to the 3100 block of South Manchester Street in the Falls Church area of Fairfax County at 11:37 this morning after a delivery driver reported a shooting. Officers arrived to find Christopher Brooks, 30, and Katherine Martell, 30, dead.  Preliminarily, it appears Brooks hit Martel with a Nissan SUV. He then shot her prior to shooting himself. We do not believe there is an ongoing threat to public safety. Brooks and Martell had a child together. The child was not at the scene and is safe with a family member. Martell lived in the building near where the shooting occurred.

From the Washington Post: The episode was called in by a UPS driver who was making deliveries to the nine-story building, Lt. John Lieb said. No one else was hurt in the incident.
The attack was over in seconds. Brooks, driving a white Nissan Rogue, struck Martell near the front entrance of the building at 3101 South Manchester St. Lieb said Brooks got out of the Rogue, shot Martell at least once and then shot himself.
It was not immediately known how many shots were fired or whether Martell was killed by the SUV or in the shooting.
Both people were pronounced dead at the scene.

This site is about 1/4 mile from my home in Arlington, VA.


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Shrine to unknown person, possibly Jelani Mohammed | 1500 block of Benning Rd NE DC

Small street shrine to an unknown person, possibly Jelani Mohammed. There have been several recent slayings in this busy block.

From a DC Police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch announce an arrest has been made in reference to a fatal stabbing that occurred on Thursday, November 8, 2018, in the 1500 block of Benning Road NE, Washington DC. At approximately 9:31 am, members of the Fifth District responded to the listed location for the report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, members located an adult male victim suffering from a stab wound. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and transported the victim to an area hospital. After all life-saving efforts failed, the victim was pronounced dead. The decedent has been identified as Jelani Mohammed, 38, of Silver Spring, MD. On Friday, November 9, 2018, Dale Thomas, 28, of Northeast DC, was arrested and charged with First Degree Murder while Armed. On Wednesday, November 21, 2018, members of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Donnell Mills, 29, of Northeast DC. He was charged with First Degree Murder while Armed.

A flotilla of balloons for Leonard Ray | 3400 block of Croffut Place SE DC

From a DC Police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred On Thursday, December 6, 2018, in the 3400 block of Croffut Place SE, Washington DC. At approximately 2:59 pm, members of the Sixth District responded to the listed location for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, members located an adult male suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and transported the victim to an area hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries. After all life-saving efforts failed, the victim, identified as Leonard Ray, 20, of Southeast DC, was pronounced dead.

This large street shrine of balloons and some Christmas items is in Mr. Ray's memory. May he rest in peace.








Shrine remnant to the memory of Randall Francis | 1800 block of Benning Road NEDC

From a DC Police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch seek the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a suspect in connection to a homicide that occurred on Monday, November 26, 2018, in the 1800 block of Benning Road NE, Washington DC. At approximately 1:49 pm, members of the Fifth District responded to the listed location for the sounds of gunshots. Upon arrival, officers located two adult male victims, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene. The first victim displayed no signs consistent with life and remained on the scene until transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The second victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The decedent has been identified as Randall Francis, 20, of Southeast DC. The suspect has been identified as Malik Morris, 20, of Northeast DC. He is wanted for First Degree Murder While Armed.

Mr. Francis's life held much promise and he seems to have touched many. From the Washington Post. "Mr Francis died on the sidewalk at 1816 Benning Rd. NE, in front of the green-and-yellow door of the Baby Einstein Child Development Center, on a street already crowded with the memories of other crime victims.
A few doors down is another street-corner memorial — garland and beads spiraling up a no parking sign, a deflated balloon dangling from the top...
Benning Road east of the H Street entertainment strip has been a particularly violent stretch this year. Four people have been killed and several others wounded from the 1500 to the 1800 blocks in what police believe were unrelated attacks."


Thank you to Ms. Thomasina Reed, who told me that the shrine on this site had been just recently removed by the store owners (only the wax from the memorial candles remained), and to Lara Ajami, for her help, also.

A shrine for Snakey: Jacob Jones memorial | 5100 block of H Street SE DC

From a DC Police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred on Saturday, December 8, 2018, in the 5100 block of H Street SE, Washington DC. At approximately 12:18 am, members of the Sixth District responded to the listed location for the sounds of gunshots. Moments later, Sixth District units were dispatched to Pennsylvania Avenue and Southern Avenue for the report of a motor vehicle accident. Upon arrival, members located an adult male suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and determined the victim displayed no signs consistent with life. The decedent, identified as Jacob Jones, 32, of Southeast DC, was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner where an autopsy was performed. As a result, the cause of death was determined to be multiple gunshot wounds. The manner of death was ruled a homicide.

I spoke with his Mr. Jones' father (holding the button) and some neighbors at this large and visually vibrant memorial. His nickname was "Snakey," (which is why there were several toy snakes on the site) and according to a young observant Muslim woman who knew him and his family well, he was a positive person who didn't bother others, and will be missed.

Salaam/Peace/Shalom.







Scene at the site of Malik Muhammad's slaying | 800 Block of Taylor Street NE DC


From a DC Police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred on Monday, November 26, 2018, in the 800 Block of Taylor Street NE, Washington DC. At approximately 6:34 pm, members of the Fourth District responded to the listed location for the sounds of gunshots. Upon arrival, members located an adult male suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and transported the victim to an area hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries. On Saturday, December 1, 2018, the victim succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.
The decedent has been identified as Malik Muhammad, 37, of Bowie, MD.

I found these police evidence technician's gloves at the scene of the slaying. There were no other markers visible.

Thanks to Lara Ajami for her help.


Shrine for Eartha- 1500 block of Benning Road NE DC

I encountered this shrine to Eartha in the 1500 Benning Rd NE Washington, DC 2000. There have been several people slain in this busy block in the past few years, including a number recently.

I was unable to find any further information on her.

Thanks to Lara Ajami for her help.


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Street memorial for Marc Anthony Bolden | Unit block of New York Avenue NW DC

From a DC Police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred on Sunday, October 21, 2018, in the unit block of New York Avenue NW, Washington DC. At approximately 7:15 am, members of the First and Fifth District responded to the listed location for the report of sounds of gunshots. Upon arrival, members located an adult male, inside of a vehicle, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services were summoned to the scene and transported the victim to a local hospital. After all lifesaving efforts failed, the victim was pronounced dead. The decedent has been identified as Marc Anthony Bolden, 28, of Northwest DC.

I spoke with several people who were tending to this shrine to Mr. Bolden, including his well-spoken cousin. They told me that he was a father, and had been raised by his mother to be a good man.

One woman at the site was wearing a T-shirt in his honor and memory.

A wish of peace and consolation for them and his family.








Love in gold: Shrine to Taquan "Tay" Smith | 4800 block of Alabama Avenue SE DC

From a DC police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred on Tuesday, October 30, 2018, in the 4800 block of Alabama Avenue SE, Washington DC. At approximately 10:29 pm, members of the Sixth District responded to the listed location for the sounds of gunshots. Upon arrival, members located an adult male suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services and transported the victim to an area hospital. After all life-saving efforts failed, the victim, identified as Taquan Smith, 25, of Southeast DC, was pronounced dead.

A passerby expressed to me that he hoped this violent madness would end.

Amen.