The man charged with the fatal stabbing of a 24-year-old aboard a metro train on Independence Day was arrested by police today. Jasper Spires, 18, of Northwest, was charged with the murder of Kevin Joseph Sutherland, also of Northwest. Sutherland, who was on his way to meet friends for holiday celebrations, died after he was fatally stabbed aboard a red-line train as it approached the NoMa-Gallaudet station.
According to reports, police say the stabbing occurred during an attempted robbery.
Spires was arrested Monday morning in the 4800 block of Georgia Avenue NW, after he was spotted by patrol officers. According to MPD reports, Spires was charged with first degree murder while armed, the day after being released from custody on unrelated robbery charges.
Officers, notified by the transit officers of a stabbing, responded to the NoMa-Gallaudet station at around 12:50 p.m. Saturday. According to an MPD press release, officers located Sutherland suffering from apparent stab wounds, who showed no signs of life. He was then transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy.
According to the Washington Post, Police were on high alert during the holiday, distributing fliers to every patrol officer and broadcasting dispatches with the suspect’s description every two hours according to Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier. Police issued a warrant the following day, but did not disclose how Spires was identified as the suspect.
Spires was in police custody on Friday after being arrested on Thursday for an unrelated charge of robbery using force and violence in Northwest Washington, reports WUSA9. Spires was originally charged with a felony for the altercation, but was released Friday—the day before Sutherland’s stabbing—when, according to Superior Court documents, the charges were revised to a misdemeanor. The charges were changed to assault and assault on a police officer. He was released awaiting trial after his arrangement, and was out of custody for one day before stabbing Sutherland.
According to NBC Washington, Sutherland, originally from Connecticut, was an American University alumnus and two-time student government secretary. Sutherland also served as an intern for Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) in 2008 and 2010. Until the time of his death, he was working as a digital political strategist with the firm New Blue Interactive.