Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Shrine to Tyrone McCann - a moment of learning, and perhaps some justice.

This shrine to Tyrone McCann is at the rear of an apartment complex overlooking the Southeast Freeway, in the 1000 block of 12th Street, SE, Washington DC.

As I approached the site, I observed a father softly admonish his toddler son for removing a teddy bear from the shrine to play with. With quiet guidance, he gently helped the child place the toy bear back on the memorial, instructing the boy that one does not remove objects from shrines.

It is the first shrine which has a collection bottle for money offerings, though I have occasionally seen cash left by mourners as a mark of respect and sacrifice at other memorials.

From DC police reports:
Detectives assigned to the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch have announced that an arrest has been made in the homicide of Tyrone McCann, who was assaulted in the 1000 block of 12th Street, SE, Washington DC, on July 7, 2009, and was hospitalized and pronounced dead on July 15, 2009 at 9:30 am. Forty-five-year-old Michael Cabbell of Temple Hills, Maryland was arrested without incident at his home address on Monday, July 27, 2009 at 7:45 am by members of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force. He has been charged with Manslaughter in the death of Mr. McCann.

On Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at approximately 2:30 am, members of the First District responded to the rear of the 1000 block of 12th Street, SE for the report of an aggravated assault. Upon arrival on the scene they found 30-year-old Tyrone McCann of the 800 block of Alabama Avenue, SE suffering from injuries to his head and face. Investigation into this incident revealed that just prior to the assault Mr. McCann had been involved in a heated verbal altercation with a male suspect known to him.

Shrine for Thomas Nathaniel Short III

This elaborate shrine is for Thomas Nathaniel Short III, in the 1300 block Stevens Road SE, Washington DC.

The shrine is in the Barry Farm area, next to his grandmother's house, not at the site of the murder. I spoke to his mother and great aunt. While we were speaking, a man from the neighborhood drank from, and then left, a vodka bottle at the base of the shrine. According to the family, many people attended the memorial service and left offerings in Mr. Short's memory at the shrine they had all built together.

Mr. Short had been a football player at Anacostia High School. He was an organ donor, and parts of his body were transplanted into four people, which his mother said gave her some comfort in the midst of her powerful grief. An award was also created in his memory by a local community group.

From DC police reports:
On Friday, July 24, 2009, at approximately 10:37 pm, members of the 7th District responded to the report of a shooting in the 1100 block of Howard Road SE. Upon arrival, officers located a victim suffering from an apparent gun shot wound.

DC Fire and EMS responded to the scene & transported the victim to a local hospital. The victim was pronounced dead at 12 pm on Sunday, July 26, 2009. The victim was identified as 18-year-old Thomas Short of the unit block of Elmira Street SW.

Shrines - Barry Farm area- 1200 block Eaton Road SE

Several shrines to Maurice Antoine Smith, 33, and another victim "Joe Rock," 17, and perhaps others, are scattered over a leafy courtyard area in the Barry Farm housing project, adjacent to the 1200 block of Eaton Road SE, Washington, DC.

I am uncertain which shrines are for which murder victim, and the certainty of the victims' names at all. There are five shrines within clear sight of one another, and another one for "Chuck" just half a block away (see the next blog post), and two others, for Thomas Short (see above blog post) and William Lee Boney Jr. (see the post on this blog from July 23, 2009) no more than a block from this mass of memorials.

From DC police reports:
At approximately 2:07 am on Thursday, July 23, 2009, officers from the 7th District responded to the rear of the 1200 block of Eaton Road, SE, for the report of an unconscious person at that location. Upon arrival, officers located a male subject suffering from apparent multiple gunshot wounds. Personnel from the DC Fire and EMS responded to the scene, but were unable to find any signs consistent with life. That victim was subsequently transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for DC. He has been identified as 33-year-old Maurice Antoine Smith of the 3000 block of Stanton Road SE.

Numerous children were playing amidst these starkly visible signs of violence and carnage.

UPDATE: Shrines that are being maintained for "Joe Rock," who was killed in 2007 at the age of seventeen. Photographed January 18, 2010.

update for Maurice Smith - November 11, 2010

Hot Shooter- RIP Charles "Chuck" Brown

This fresh shrine to "Chuck" in the 1200 block of Sumner Road SE, Washington, DC, is to Charles Brown.

UPDATE: According to his brother (see comments below- thank you sir) Mr. Brown was shot down in front of his home on April 13, 2003. He was a father. His brother writes of the circumstances of his slaying, "leaving us with no answers or clues to who murdered him."

In addition to a caring family, he apparently had a good game. Now he's sunk his last basket.
May he rest - and play - if that's appropriate, in peace.

Nelson Ryan's sneakers

These shoes, a memorial to Nelson Ryan, are in the 1800 block of M Street, NE, Washington, DC.

From a police report:
At approximately 12:50 am on Saturday, July 25, 2009, officers from the Fifth District responded to the 1800 block of M Street, NE, to investigate the report of an assault in progress. Upon arrival, they discovered an adult male lying on the ground suffering from apparent multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was transported by personnel from the DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department to an area hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead.

The victim in this case has been identified as 22-year-old Nelson Ryan of the 600 block of Edgewood Street, NE.

Quiet, secluded neighborhood. Another sad testimony to a young man's life swaying in the summer air above the street.