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.

Lone teddy bear for Mr. George Wakefield

This poignant solo teddy bear is the shrine to George E. Wakefield. It is behind the 1100 block of 21st Street NE, Washington DC. Mr. Wakefield, 30, was found stabbed near his home early Saturday October 17, 2009.

Patrick Wilson, 25, of Alexandria, Virginia, has been arrestd and charged with first-degree murder in the slaying.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Davonta Artis - caught in the crossfire

This shrine of plush toys, in the 5300 block of Clay Terrace NE, Washington DC, was created for young Davonta Artis, just 15 years old.

According to press reports, two people were killed and three others were wounded in what police think was a driveby shooting on Tuesday October 13, 2009.

The shootings took place in the Clay Terrace housing projects, long known for problems with violent crime & drug activity.
Word from DC police is that the driveby resulted from a dispute between two rival crews, one from 37th Place SE and the other based in Clay Terrace, over money and a set of stolen handguns.
Authorities believe members of the 37th Place group arrived at Clay Terrace in a black SUV, then got out and exchanged words with teens from the Clay Terrace crew. "They didn't want the money back; they wanted the guns back" a source said. "That's when the bullets started flying." Another witness related "it was like a baby Iraq."

Police said it appears Davonta was an innocent bystander, not a target. This poor child was described as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. His family and neighbors are shocked and saddened, as he had no involvement in the terror and violence that has wracked the community he grew up in, and where he died.

I revisited this site on October 18, 2011. Davonta's shrine is being maintained by someone who is carrying his memory in their heart.

Another unknown on Clay Terrace NE

This older graffiti is now illegible, except for its clear RIP statement.

I found it by this drying laundry, just a few yards from two other memorials.

Tough neighborhood. Very tough neighborhood.

Peace y'all. Peace.

Shoe memorials in Clay Terrace NE- A double hanging

These two adjoining shoe shrines are in the 5300 block of Clay Terrace NE, Washington DC.

They are possibly for Davonta Artis, 15, and Daquan Tibbs, 18, who lived in the 200 block of 37th Place SE.

Both were murdered in this block on October 13th, 2009.

In any case, it's a shame.

Cortez Lilly / Tee-shirt shrine - Clay Terrace NE & Halloween RIP


This shrine has been identified as being erected in the honor and memory of Cortez Lilly (see comment added by his brother below). Rest in peace.

Unfortunately, there have been many deaths in the Clay Terrace area.

I also found this Halloween decoration nearby. Anywhere else, it would just be light and silly spooky entertainment.
In this neighborhood, it also serves (probably unconsciously, though one should not be certain) as a reminder of the very real and ghastly potential for sudden and violent death to be waiting close by.

additional August 2010 update, from DC police files and online news sources:
Washington Post July 24, 2007
D.C. police have arrested a man in a hit-and-run accident last night in which a teen on a stolen motorcycle was killed, authorities said today.
The teen, Cortez Durrell Lilly, died after he collided with a pick-up truck at about 10:30 p.m., police said. The incident took place on East Capitol Street, near 55th Street in Northeast.
The driver of the truck fled the scene but was later arrested by police.
Lilly lived in the 5300 block Clay Terrace NE.

At approximately 5:30 am July 24, 2007, police were called to the 800 block of Delafield Place, NW, for the report of a stolen auto. During the investigation officers determined that 40-year-old James Brown, of the Delafield address, was the alleged operator of the pickup truck involved in the accident at East Capitol and 55th Streets, NE. He was charged with Leaving After Colliding.
Investigation indicates that the Suzuki motorcycle had been stolen on Sunday, July 22, 2007, during an armed carjacking in the 2400 block of Rhode Island Avenue NE.
- Allison Klein
last night at 2am i got a text from my sister that read
"Cortez passed in a motorcycle accident."
my heart was broken.
he was only 17 years old.
he had just gotten home from being away far too long.
he was a brother,
a father,
a friend,
he was my little cousin.
i love you, and i will miss you.

GOD i know he was flawed, but i pray you see his heart and forgive him for the wrong he has done.
i pray you will except him into your arms.


Antonio Moten "Sweetus" - RIP 2006

This older shrine to Anthonio Moten "Sweetus" is sequestered at the rear of 5363 Clay Terrace NE, Washington DC.

According to police and news records, Mr. Moten was killed on June 11, 2006 at 7:43 PM. A woman was also shot in this incident, but survived her wounds.

I was led to this shrine on October 30, 2009 by some youth from the Clay Terrace area who told me about it. It has been maintained for three years at the back of this public housing project by those who cared for him.

There have been numerous murders in the Clay Terrace complex over the years.

Memorial for Ashley Davis

This small tender shrine is built in remembrance of Ashley Davis. It is in the 3000 block of Brinkley Road, in Temple Hills Maryland.
Fourteen-year old Ashley was hit by a speeding gold Lincoln Continental sedan on September 1, 2009, while she was walking to the morning schoolbus. The Lincoln injured another boy in the street, and then hit a van with a woman and four children inside. Ashley suffered major brain trauma from the crash. She struggled to hold on to life for about two weeks, but died on September 16th, at Childrens Hospital.

She had been a well-liked freshman at Crossland High School. According to news reports, her mother, Nycole Davis, is very deeply grieved.

May the Creator give us peace, as it is beyond our ability to understand.