Friday, December 11, 2009

Memory and Heritage - 2000 block 16th St. SE

This shrine to Frederick Darnell Ard is in the 2000 block of 16th Street SE, Washington DC.
At 1:11 AM Saturday, November 14, 2009, CDC police officers responded to the 2000 block of 16th St SE, to investigate the report of a shooting. Upon arrival they discovered an adult male suffering from apparent multiple gunshot wounds. The victim, Frederick Darnell Ard, 42, of Suitland, Maryland, was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:35 am.

Acording to a woman I met maintaining the shrine after the recent rains, Mr. Ard had grown up in the white house across the street, was well-regarded and liked, and understood the heritage of his people. His vigil had many children and families respecting his memory and contributing to the shrine.

It is the first shrine I have encountered that incorporates an African mask.

Edwin Reyes's memorial- Longfellow St NW

According to press reports, on November 31, 2009 about midnight there was a shooting in the 600 block of Longfellow St NW, Washington, DC, in the Brightwood neighborhood. Edwin Reyes, 23, of the 5500 block 7th St NW, died after transport to a hospital.

Many people appear to have raised a libation in his memory.

In memory of "Mama"- Rufina Hernandez

This shrine to is to Rufina Hernadez. It is constructed in a small closed storefront at 5421 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington DC.

About 9:00 PM on Saturday November 7, 2009. Rufina Hernadez. 51, of Hyattsville, MD, died of multiple gunshot wounds to her face and neck. She was the owner of La Casa Morita, a mom & pop liquor store.

Well loved for her gentleness, her nickname to all was "Mama." He loss was a deep shock to this busy and vibrant neighborhood.

According to witnesses, two men appear to have been involved in the robbery. They fled on foot after killing Mrs. Hernandez, taking a small amount of cash. Andre Lopez, 45, of no fixed address, was arrested for the murder on November 19th.

"The tears of God will show you the way" - Los Lobos

In memory of Donnell Tyson- Bass Place SE

This shrine to Donnell Tyson, who was 25 at the time of his death, is in the 5000 block of Bass Place SE, Washington.

On Saturday, November 7, 2009, at approximately 3:25 am, DC police officers responded to the 5000 block of Bass Place, SE after a 'ShotSpotter' automatic listening device detected the sounds of gunfire. They located an adult male suffering from multiple gunshot wounds lying on the sidewalk in front of 5023 Bass Place. DC Emergency Medical Services also responded to the scene, but could find no life signs. The victim, Donnell Tyson, was later pronounced dead on the scene.

While photographing this shrine, I met a soft-spoken young woman pushing a stroller who wanted to know about the blog, and thanked me for helping remember Mr. Tyson, whom she knew.

I hope some peace warms her heart, and all who suffer in our community.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

RIP young Oscar Fuentes

From police and press (The Examiner) reports:

On Saturday, November 14, 2009, at approximately 9:35 PM, officers from Third District were called to an apartment building in the 1400 block of Columbia Road, NW, Washington, DC, to investigate the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers discovered a juvenile male inside suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. The victim was identified as 9-year-old Oscar Fuentes.
On that Saturday, members of the Fuentes family were walking upstairs to their apartment when a strange man confronted them and demanded money. They ran. When they made it to their front door, 9-year-old Oscar quickly let them in and closed it fast. Following them, police say, was Josue Pena, armed with a handgun. Oscar, being the inquisitive youngster he was, put his eye to the peephole. That‘s when police say Pena fired a shot directly into the door, striking the boy and killing him.
On Tuesday, November 17, 2009, Josue Pena, 26, of no fixed address was arrested in Hyattsville, MD by members of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force. Mr. Pena has been charged with First Degree Murder While Armed in the homicide of Oscar Fuentes.

A large and ongoing vigil was held by the family and community members in front of the dwelling where Oscar lived and was murdered.

Oscar Fuentes' family is accepting donations from the public.
Anyone who would like to contribute may send donations to:
Office of D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 105
Washington D.C. 20004

Councilmember Graham will forward all donations to the Fuentes family.

Prayers for this innocent child...

from DCist:
The man who was arrested and charged in the Nov. 14 killing of Oscar Fuentes has been found dead inside his cell in the D.C. Jail, according to a report from WTTG/FOX5. Josue Pena had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Fuentes, who died after being shot through the door of his Columbia Heights apartment. The Washington Post reported earlier that paramedics had been called to the jail for a call of an unconscious inmate this afternoon. WTTG says Pena was found hanged inside his cell just after 1 p.m. He was pronounced dead later at Howard University Hospital, with the cause of death determined to be cardiac arrest by asphyxiation. The report also includes these details:
Pena told prosecutors he had a gun in his waist band, but it accidently went off as he walked up the stairs.

Court documents indicate police also found the murder weapon, a .22 caliber revolver at his uncle's home on Kenyon Street NW. One tenant at the home with a 2-week-old baby says the suspect was there Saturday an hour after the shooting looking for a place to stay.
WTOP says Pena's death is under investigation.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Blue bear and an elf for Robert Engleman Jr.

This memorial to Robert E. Engleman Jr, is in the alley behind the 4500 block of Hunt Place NE, Washington DC.

Mr. Engleman was found fatally shot at this spot on October 30, 2009.

He had lived in Capitol Heights, Maryland.

Shrine at 1332 Half Street SW

I came upon this shrine in the alley behind 1322 Half St SW, Washington DC.
I was looking for a possible shrine to Chicquelo Abeny, who was shot at the end of this alley on October 12. 2009. A neighbor told me his family hadn't erected a memorial yet, but this shrine to a murder victim of a few years ago, was kept up by friends and family.

DC Police records show Jehu Arias, 30, died of multiple gunshot wounds at this spot at 3:37 AM on May 27, 2006.