Sunday, June 25, 2017

Peace and Mercy. Memorials for Nabra Hassanen | Reston and Herndon, Virginia

Two memorials were created for Nabra Hassanen, 17, who was brutally slain on June 18th, 2017, as she and her friends were walking to their mosque to participate in Ramadan services.

A community-wide interfaith vigil was held for her at the Lake Anne Plaza in Reston, Virginia. A roadside memorial was also created near the site of her death on Dranesville Road in the Herndon/Sterling area.

May her soul be bound forever in peace and mercy, and her memory ever be for a blessing.










From a Fairfax County Police report: Reston Police District – A man has been charged with murdering a 17-year-old Reston girl who was reported missing Sunday, June 18, 2017, around 4 a.m. near Dranesville Road and Woodson Road, in the Herndon area. An investigation determined she was walking outside with a group of friends when they got into a dispute with a man in a car. It appears the suspect, Darwin A. Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, got out of his car and assaulted the victim. Her friends could not find her and police were called to help.

Numerous patrol officers from the Fairfax County Police and Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office immediately began an extensive search. The police helicopter, K-9 teams and search and rescue teams also responded to search for the missing teen, whom officers believed to be injured. While searching, one officer saw a car driving suspiciously in the area and stopped it. The driver, later identified as Martinez Torres, was taken into custody as a suspect.

Around 3 p.m., the remains of a female were found in a pond in the 21500 block of Ridgetop Circle, in Sterling. The Office of The Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy. Detectives do believe the remains are those of the missing teen.

From the Washington Post:
"Nabra Hassanen, 17, was assaulted and killed near her mosque.

The Virginia teens were up late observing Ramadan, so they did what young people often do in the wee hours of the weekend: They went out for a bite to eat at McDonald’s.

But as they walked and biked back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque in Sterling, along a major thoroughfare, a red car approached from behind about 3:40 a.m. Sunday and chaos erupted.

The driver, Darwin Martinez Torres, a 22-year-old construction worker from Sterling, got into an argument with a teen on a bike and then drove his car over a curb, scattering the group of as many as 15 teens, police said.

He caught up with them a short time later in a parking lot and chased them with a baseball bat, striking 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen and then abducting her in his car, police said.

Martinez Torres assaulted Nabra a second time, in Loudoun County, before dumping her body in a pond next to his apartment complex, where it was discovered about 3 p.m. on Sunday, police said. The medical examiner ruled Monday that the girl died of blunt-force trauma to the head and neck.

The horrific slaying of the South Lakes High School student reverberated beyond Virginia on Monday, as social media lit up with anger and grief, politicians expressed condolences and groups of various faiths condemned the violence.

Many feared it was another hate crime targeting Muslims, coming shortly before a man driving a truck in London plowed into a group of people who had just finished Ramadan prayers. It follows a national upswing in attacks targeting Muslims since the November election. So far, Fairfax County police said they have no indication that Nabra was targeted because of her religion, saying her killing was probably a “road rage incident,” although they continue to investigate the motivation...

 Mohmoud Hassanen said that he and his firstborn daughter were always close. “She used to be like my friend, not my daughter,” he said. “I hope she’s in paradise.” “I don’t want any family to feel like what I feel now,” Hassanen said. “It’s too hard. I raised my daughter for 17 years. Somebody took her life for no reason.”

 Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, has been charged in the teen’s death.

Hassanen, the father of Nabra, said that he feels sure his daughter was killed because of her religion. “He killed her because she’s a Muslim — this is what I tell the detective,” Hassanen said. “Why was he running behind the kids wearing Islamic clothes with a baseball stick? Why, when my daughter fell down, why did he hit her? For what? We don’t know this guy. He doesn’t know us. We don’t hate anybody because of religion or color. I teach my kids to love everybody.”"

Additional material is posted at RestonNow.



Thursday, June 1, 2017

"RIP AL "| Memorial for Algernon Harvey Jones in the 100 block of Q Street NW DC

According to an article in the Washington Post, eight people were shot in a hail of bullets in the Truxton Circle neighborhood of Washington DC on May 27, 2017. One person, Algernon Harvey Jones, died from the gunfire. Two additional shootouts then occurred in the community within the next 48 hours.

From a DC police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred in the 100 block of Q Street NW, Washington DC, on Saturday, May 27, 2017. At approximately 1:01 am, members of the Fifth District were alerted to the sound of gunshots. Upon arrival, they located an unconscious adult male suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. DC Fire and EMS responded to the scene and found no signs consistent with life. The victim remained on the scene until transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
The decedent has been identified as Algernon Harvey Jones, 32, of Southeast, DC

This memorial has been erected in honor and memory of Mr. Jones.

There was a significant police presence in the neighborhood when I documented this site. May their work, and the work of many others, help bring peace and justice to this community.


Monday, May 29, 2017

In memory of Charnice Milton / Good Hope and Naylor Roads SE DC

Fliers promoting the opening of a bookstore named in her honor, police posters that offer a reward for the arrest of her killer, and the deep impact of a bullet mark a bus shelter at the intersection of Good Hope and Naylor Roads SE, Washington DC; the site of the death of journalist Charnice Milton.



From a DC police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a homicide that occurred on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at approximately 9:41 pm.
Officers investigating the sound of gunshots in the area of Good Hope and Naylor Roads SE located an adult female suffering from an apparent gunshot wound in the 2700 block of Good Hope Road SE. The decedent was transported to a local hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. The decedent has been identified as Charnice Milton, 27, of Southeast, DC.

Ms. Milton was a highly-respected young journalist covering the community she grew up in.

Her killers have not been found.

A bookstore named in her honor has just opened in the basement of We Act Radio at 1918 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington DC. Her colleague, reporter and noted local historian John Muller, was instrumental in bringing about this appropriate living tribute to Ms. Milton.

May her work and memory ever be for a blessing.

Thanks to John Muller for his significant help in this matter.

FYI: Ivy Tonnett Smith, 39, was also slain at this bus stop on March 6, 2016, as reported by the DC police and WJLA TV.

May she too, and this community, know peace.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Lieutenant Richard Wilbur Collins III / University of Maryland campus in College Park MD / "I hope heaven is everything you could ever dream of"

On May 20, 2017, at approximately 3:05 am, Richard Wilbur Collins III, 23, was stabbed to death on Regents Drive on the University of Maryland campus in College Park, Maryland, according to a report by the University of Maryland Police.

Sean Christopher Urbanski, 22, has been charged with the slaying.

Mr. Collins had just recently received his commission as a lieutenant in the United States Army, and was scheduled to graduate from Bowie State University.

According to numerous witnesses, the attack was unprovoked. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are investigating the slaying as a possible hate crime.

A vigil was held at the site of the slaying, and the graduation ceremony at Bowie State University this week incorporated moving honors to the life and memory of Lieutenant Collins.

There has been extensive local and national attention paid to this tragic situation. The Washington Post, NPR, CNN, and others all have meaningful extensive online articles.

The funeral and memorial at Bowie State University are covered in an AP article published by the Washington Post.

May justice be served, and there be comfort and peace for the family and friends of this fine young individual.







Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Shrine to unknown person, 200 block of Zelma Avenue, Capitol Heights MD

While looking for a possible shrine built for Jan Cotto, who was slain in the 200 block of Zelma Ave, Capitol Heights, Maryland, on April 6, 2017, I encountered this older memorial in the immediate vicinity. This shrine appears briefly in a NBC news video. A child, Demetri Hooper, 6 months old, was also slain in this block in 2016.

I believe this shrine is possibly for an older incident. I cannot find anything on the situation.

Peace to these departed souls, and to this community.






Gone too soon | Shrine for Damonta Thompson in the 100 block of Irvington Street SW DC

From  DC Police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred in the 100 block of Irvington Street SW, Washington DC, on Tuesday, May 9, 2017. At approximately 2:07 pm, members of the Seventh District responded to a report of a shooting. Upon arrival on the scene, officers located an adult male suffering from a gunshot wound. DC Fire and EMS personnel arrived on 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 Damonta Thompson, 25, of Southwest, DC.

This exceptionally large and varied shrine reflects the care that his loved ones have for his memory.

Thanks to reporter John Muller for his support.














Long Live A Legend / Shrine to Charles Garris / 1200 block of Talbert Street SE DC

From a DC Police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a fatal shooting which occurred in the 1200 block of Talbert Street SE, Washington DC. On Thursday, May 16, 2013, at approximately 3:32 pm, units from the Seventh District responded to the 1200 block of Talbert Street, SE for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, they located an adult male inside an apartment suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to the scene and determined that the victim had no signs consistent with life. The decedent is identified as Charles Garris, 28, of Southwest, Washington, DC.

Thanks to reporter John Muller for his help discovering this ongoing memorial.

Peace to the memory of Mr. Garris.

Shrine for Michael Derricote (one love li'l bro) 3500 block of Stanton Road SE DC

This large shrine had many people in the vicinity when I documented it.

From a DC police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred in the 3500 block of Stanton Road SE, Washington DC, on Friday, April 14, 2017. At approximately 8:05 pm, members of the Seventh District responded to a report of the sounds of gunshots. Upon arrival on the scene, officers located two adult males. Each was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. DC Fire and EMS personnel were called to the scene and transported both victims to local hospitals. The first victim was admitted with life threatening injuries. The second victim was admitted in critical but stable condition. On Sunday, April 30, 2017, the first victim succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. The decedent has been identified as Michael Derricote, 26, of Upper Marlboro, MD.

Thanks to reporter John Muller for his assistance.






RIP Antwan Jones | 2100 block of Alabama Avenue SE DC

From a DC police report: Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department's Homicide Branch seek the public's assistance in identifying and locating a person of interest in a fatal shooting which occurred in the 2100 block of Alabama Avenue SE, Washington DC, on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. At approximately 3:45 pm, officers from the Seventh District responded to the 2100 block of Alabama Avenue, Southeast, for the report of a shooting. While responding, members of the Seventh District located a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Stanton Road and Alabama Avenue, Southeast. Members discovered that the driver and passenger, of one of the involved vehicles, were suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. DC Fire and EMS transported both adult male victims to an area hospital, where one of the victims succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. The other victim sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The decedent was identified as Antwan Jones, 31, of Arlington, VA.

Thanks to reporter for John Muller for his help.


Shrine Tree / for Veezy and crew / 1400 block of Howard Road SE DC

A 'shrine tree'  to Veezy and several other people slain in the Manor neighborhood of Old Barry Farm. This ongoing memorial is in the 1400 block of Howard Road SE, Washington DC.
Pictured at the site Jayon, also know as J-man, who told us that Veezy was his godfather.

I found this tree shrine to multiple homicide victims very touching and quite unusual.

May the wars cease, and peace be upon the land and in our hearts.

Thanks to Jayon and reporter John Muller for their kind help.