Witness describes fight that led to Malachi Yisrael’s death

The person who fatally shot 43-year-old Malachi Yisrael only stopped after another person began shooting at him, police allege in a warrant for Yisrael’s alleged killer.

Police say Lamont McDonald, 16, fatally shot Yisrael, and wounded a juvenile on July 5 in what appears to be a fight over drugs.

According to the affidavit for McDonald’s arrest, Yisrael was found unconscious and unresponsive by police in the 300 block of 50th St., NE. According to the medical examiner, Yisrael sustained eight gunshot wounds which led to his death.

The same night and in the same area McDonald, was discovered suffering from one gunshot wound to the back and one to the buttocks. He was wearing a white t-shirt when he was transported to Washington Hospital Center’s MedStar Unit to undergo surgery.

When a detective visited with McDonald the following day, McDonald said he was at some basketball courts when he heard a shooting. He ran to the area where he was found by police, he said. During the interview, McDonald became “emotional” when he learned someone had been killed, but also remarked that the case could not be solved after the detective relayed that no guns were recovered on the scene.

According to the warrant, police also interviewed a person parked in the vicinity of the shooting. The witness observed a man, later determined to be Yisrael, along with a younger man approached by McDonald and two other males. McDonald and the Yisrael began talking and a hand-to-hand interaction occurred, which appeared to be an illegal drug sale. The three other men remained nearby during the transaction.

The witness reported that the Yisrael appeared to start arguing with McDonald and Yisrael struck him in the face with his fist. This caused McDonald to fall to the ground and he laid there for about a minute. He attempted to get up, and Yisrael swung at him a second time.

McDonald then began shooting at Yisrael from the ground, which caused him to turn and flee. McDonald got up and pursued him and Yisrael fell over the younger male and McDonald continued to shoot at him on the ground.

At this point, the older male located near the brick wall, began shooting at McDonald and chasing after him. McDonald then ran towards the back of the building while shots were being fired at him. During this exchange, Yisrael remained on the ground where he was later found by the first officers on the scene.

The witness described McDonald as a black male who appeared to be fifteen or sixteen, wearing a white t-shirt. The witness last saw McDonald running to the rear of the building as he was being pursued by the second shooter.

During the first interview, McDonald kept the left side of his face concealed. During a follow-up interview the next day, the detective noticed an area below his eye that appeared to have discoloration, and that side of his face appeared swollen.

McDonald was arrested and charged with second-degree murder while armed. He is being tried as an adult.


Comment guidelines:

D.C. Witness is a place where we want our community to come to remember loved ones and comment on homicide cases. These discussions often entail topics that we all personally care a lot about and will passionately discuss. But in order for discussions to thrive here, we need to set a few ground rules. Comments will be edited or deleted if they include vulgarity, name-calling, cursing or inflammatory language. Comments that include unverified information, slander, or hateful speech will be deleted. We reserve the right to edit comments to ensure they reflect the intent of the writer but make them publishable. If you believe your comment has been edited or deleted in error, please contact Jennifer Swift, swift@dcwitness.org