January homicides follow trend of last two years

The nation’s capital didn’t tally it’s first homicide until six days after the new year, but the numbers quickly added up to eight and followed trends for the past two years.

The first homicide of the year actually began in October of last year, when Richard Lewis, 57, was assaulted outside of Union Station. Lewis succumbed to his injuries on Jan. 6, making his death the first homicide of 2017.

The suspect, 56-year-old Victor Purdie, is currently being held without bond. In the warrant detailing Purdie’s arrest, the suspect admitted to assaulting Lewis and alleged the deceased antagonized him.

Lewis is one of two January victims that police have identified a suspect.

Waliyatou Amado, 23, was stabbed to death and her body left on the floor in a building on W Street on Jan. 8. Amado’s alleged murderer, Deangelo Thorne, 27, was caught on surveillance footage and ultimately charged with second-degree murder while armed.

Police have yet to identify a suspect in an additional six January homicides:

On Jan. 7, Devin Hall, 23, was found fatally shot inside a parked car in Congress Heights with no suspect in sight.

On Martin Luther King Day, Vivian Marrow, 68, was on her way to the grocery store in her motorized wheelchair when she was shot. Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham held a press conference the day after Marrow’s death urging community members to come forward with any information pertaining to the alleged murder. Police are currently looking for a person of interest, a left-handed black male with a slim build, who was featured in surveillance footage that captured the suspected murder.

A double shooting in the early morning of Jan. 17 left Ronell Reaves, 22, dead on 600 block of 14th Pl., NE.

Reaves is the youngest victim of January 2016, while Marrow caps the age range at 68 years.

Anthony Irving, 44, was fatally shot in the evening of Jan. 17 on 4400 block of Hayes St., NE. Upon police arrival, Irving was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and died shortly after succumbing to his injuries.

On Jan. 24 police found Willie Starkey, 35, dead from gunshot wounds to the head and neck outside of a Benning Road laundromat. Police have circulated a video of a suspect, described as a black individual, between 5’8” and 6’2” tall, weighing between 160-200 pounds.

January’s final homicide occurred on the evening of the 29th. Police found 34-year-old Wilson Agbebaku on 200 block of 52 St., NE suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Agbebaku died shortly after he arrived at the local hospital.

Of the eight murders, six were the result of shootings. While looking at the month’s total, five homicides occurred in the Northeast quadrant of the city, two in Southeast, and the remaining homicide took place in Northwest.

In 2015 and 2016, D.C. saw 9 murders in January.

This January, the average victim was a 35-year-old black male.


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