Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sad eyes for Kenyetta Nicholson-Stanley

A shrine to Kenyetta D Nicholson-Stanley, 17, has been created adjacent to the playground of the Edgewood Terrace Apartments, 525 Edgewood Street NE, Washington DC.

At this spot on October 11, 2009, at about 8:20 PM, Ms. Nicholson-Stanley was caught in a cross-fire of gunshots between a security guard and one or two masked assailants. She had been speaking with the guard before the gunfire began.
Police, and several neighbors I spoke to, were unclear who fired the fatal shot.

There is a reward posted for the arrest of the gunmen.

An older neighbor I spoke to said this had been a quiet neighborhood before these apartments were built in the 1970's.

May this innocent young woman and her family have peace.

I revisited and photographed Kenyetta's shrine on May 7, 2010, with Danny Harris of

The memorial has obviously been well kept up and renewed in her memory.
It in the same block as the memorial for Dezmine Perkins, 16, who was slain on May 1, 2010.

Reggie Cook- Barry Farm shrine

This shrine is behind a row of dwellings at 1110 Eaton Road, SE, Washington, DC.

On September 25, 2009, at 10:39 PM, Reggie Cook was found shot and killed at the rear of 1110 Eaton Rd SE.

This is in the Barry Farm community, where there have been quite a number of violent deaths this year.

Mr. Cook's loved ones have left him their offerings of toys - and their prayers.

Shrine for Eddie Blocker- 18th Street SE

Eddie R. Blocker, 18, was found fatally shot on October 2, 2009. The shrine is next to 1512 18th St SE, Washington, DC.
Gunshots were heard near 18th & P Sts SE. Responding police officers found Mr. Blocker shot several times in the 1400 block of 18th St SE. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Young Mr. Blocker had grown up in this neighborhood. I spoke with a dignified older gentleman who was a good friend of Eddie’s mother. He told me that his grandson was a close friend of Eddie’s growing up. I left him thoughtfully viewing the shrine.

RIP Marcos Medina

Marcos Medina, 16, was fatally shot during an argument in the 5300 block of 56th Avenue in Riverdale, Maryland, on September 30, 2009. A 17 year-old was also shot, and after treatment was released from the hospital.

This shrine, in a primamrliy Latino immigrant community, is next to a driveway and a fertile squash garden.

Vaya con Dios.

To Robert Jackson - 35th & B Streets SE

Robert “Bobbie” Jackson was shot September 28, 2009 at 5:35 PM, while in the 100 block of 35th Street SE Washington, DC.
He died of his wounds on October 1, 2009.

His shrine is at the corner of 35th & B SE - 10 feet from one I photographed in March 2008.
( see: )

His vigil was held just the night before these photographs were taken. He was shot a block away.

I spoke with two neighbors who were sad about how this affects families, particularly mothers. One, a miltary veteran, related that in the service, shoes tossed over telephone wires were in celebration of someone getting sent back home to the US, not to mark a sad occasion like a murder.

For Andre Pate: Winnie the Pooh, a green bear, and a framed photograph

This shrine in front of 1606 K Street NE, Washington, DC, is in memory of Andre Pate, 30, who was fatally shot at this location.

According to police, gunfire was detected at 5:45 PM on October 1, 2009. The police report mentions that a fight had occurred, but the circumstances were not clear,
Mr. Pate, who had lived in Suitland, MD, died after he was found and transported to a nearby hospital.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shahabuddin Rana's memorial in front of his store

I found this small shrine remnant to Shahabuddin Rana, 44, in front of his Pizza Mart at 2300 4th Street NE, Washington DC.

Mr. Rana, a Pakistani immigrant, was killed on August 18, 2009. He died of blunt head trauma, multiple stab wounds, and his body was set partially on fire.
Shanika Robinson, 26, Leon Robinson, 25, and Isaiah Genus, 26, have been charged with first-degree homicide in his death.

Investigators believe Rana had stopped paying Ms. Robinson, who had married his immigrant brother in a cash-for-green-card arrangement, when the brother learned of her many sexual affairs. The three accused are alleged to have set his body on fire after killing him, and then stealing cigarettes, cigars, and about $2000 in cash from the store. Ms. Robinson spent about $1600 of this money on her rent, according to police.

A misery for all, and especially for poor Mr. Rana and his family. Salaam aleikum. Peace be with them.

There was another shrine in September 2007, now gone, less than fifty feet from this one.
It is posted on this blog at:
(the bottom three photos on this post).

Memorial for Jose Villatoro

This simple permanent memorial to Jose Villatoro is at the corner of Pomeroy Street and Martin Luther King Avenue SE, Washington, DC, near where he was killed while trimming grass.

From the Washington Post and police sources:
About 11 AM on October 16, 2006, Lankward Harrington was walking to a grocery store in the 2600 block of Martin Luther King Avenue SE in Anacostia when he came upon Jose Villatoro, who was cutting grass at an apartment complex.

Prosecutors said Harrington had spent the previous night smoking PCP, and he was angry. He was angry that after an argument, his father had ordered him out of their apartment. He was angry because he suspected that his girlfriend was cheating on him.

As he approached Villatoro, 35, who was using a line trimmer to edge a lawn, Harrington grew angrier when Villatoro did not pause to allow him to pass. Instead, Villatoro kept working and grass hit Harrington's clothes and hair. Harrington stopped, reached into his backpack, pulled out a .357 magnum and shot Villatoro four times in the face and body before walking away.

"I made sure he saw me and looked me in the eye," Harrington, 25, calmly told a shocked audience in DC Superior Court, the first time anyone had heard a motive in the killing. "I take pride in my appearance. I did not appreciate that."
A stunned Assistant US Attorney Steve Snyder sought clarification from Harrington. "He did nothing to you, did he?" Snyder said.
"He got grass on me," Harrington said quietly. "That was something."
Harrington was charged with second-degree murder in Villatoro's killing. After closing arguments Tuesday, it took the jury less than ten minutes to return a guilty verdict.

It was Harrington's second murder trial in the case. Last year, a DC jury found Harrington not guilty of first-degree murder and hung on a charge of second-degree murder. Harrington had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

This year, after follow-up meetings with Harrington in preparation for the trial, two of the three D.C. area psychologists who last year testified that Harrington was insane changed their diagnoses and said that he was not insane at the time of the shooting.

Mr. Villatoro left behind a family of four in the Mount Pleasant area of DC. he had been the sole provider for them.
Villatoro's wife, Carmela, never flinched as Harrington spoke of shooting her husband and the father of their two daughters, ages ten and five. What did surprise her, she said, was that it took three years for a jury to find Harrington guilty. The Villatoros immigrated to the Mount Pleasant area from El Salvador in 1990. Since then, her husband had worked for landscaping companies.

"Knowing what [Harrington] did, I don't understand why it has taken so long," she said. "How could he do something like this only because of grass?"

Harrington is scheduled to be sentenced December 18, 2009.

Mr. Harrington's father said his son had a history of psychiatric problems. Latino organizations in the city have made support and outreach efforts for the Villatoros family.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Purple bear for Robert McFarlin. A strange and sad situation

Shrine to Robert L. McFarlin, 58, in the 1700 block of Trenton Place SE, Washington DC,at the corner of Trenton Place and Stanton Road.
Adapted from the Washington Post:
Officers from the 7th District went to the 1700 block of Trenton Place SE after Robert L. McFarlin Jr. called 911 about 1:15 p.m on September 14, 2009, and reported that he had killed his sister. McFarlin, who lived on that block, was found in the street holding several knives. He did not drop the weapons when warned by officers.

Two of the three officers then fired a total of three rounds, killing McFarlin. Police then found his sister, who was not harmed.

The shooting took place outside the Garden Village Apartments off Alabama Avenue SE. Children in uniforms walking home from school saw the police tape and cruisers, and asked neighbors what had happened.

The three officers were placed on administrative leave, which is standard department policy. The force investigation team will look into the shooting. DC police say it is their policy not to identify officers involved in shootings. There have been thirteen police-involved shootings this year, compared with nine at the same time last year. That includes fatal shootings, people who were wounded, and misses.