Homicide Rates Rise 9.5 Percent in August

Twenty-three homicides occurred in DC during the month of August, which is approximately a 9.5% increase from July.

There were no homicides between Aug. 1 and 6, yet three homicides occurred on Aug. 7. The oldest victim of 2021 was James Beckham.

At 6:17 p.m. police were flagged down in the 200 block of 49th  Street, SE. Upon arrival, police found 69-year-old Beckham in a vehicle and pronounced him dead on scene, according to previous DC Witness reporting.

Metropolan Police Department (MPD) Chief of Police Robert J. Contee held a press conference on Aug. 9 due to the three homicides.

“These cases really underscore again the violence we have seen recently in our city,” he said during the press conference. “It’s consistent with what we have seen in a national landscape with respect to gun violence in our communities.”

The most homicides occurred in Ward 8, with a total of nine. This is an increase from five in July. 

Wards 1 and 7 also saw an increase in homicides. Ward 1 had one in July and three in August, while Ward 7 had six in July and seven in August.

Four Wards saw a decrease in homicides.

Ward 5 saw a 50 percent decrease in homicides with four in July and two in August. Ward 6 had two homicides in July, yet only one in August. Ward 2 had one in July but none in August.

Ward 3 did not have any homicides in July or August.

Out of the 23 homicides, the most took place in Congress Heights with five between Aug. 16 and Aug. 23. One arrest has been made in relation to these homicides as of Sept. 2, according to D.C. Witness data.

Omar Moore, 34, was shot on the 3800 block of South Capitol Street, SE, on Aug. 16. He walked into a local hospital soon after and died from his injuries, according to a press release.

Anthony Mitchell was shot on the 3700 block of First Street, SE, on Aug. 18. According to a press release, the 43-year-old victim was taken to a local hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Teon Jackson, 18, was shot and killed on the 900 block of Wahler Place, SE, on Aug. 19.

Nickael Dempsey was shot on the Unit Block of Danbury Street, SW, on Aug. 21. According to a press release, he was taken to a local hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Harold Castle was shot and killed on the 3900 block of South Capitol Street, SE. On Aug. 31, police arrested 27-year-old Cecil Smith and charged them with second-degree murder while armed.

In addition to these homicides, there was one fatal officer-involved shooting.

On Aug. 25, at approximately 2:45 a.m., officers were called to the area of Florida Avenue, NE, and New York Avenue, NE, after a man was reported to be unconscious behind the wheel of a vehicle that was stopped in traffic. Officers found the individual asleep in the vehicle with a handgun in his waistband, DC Witness previously reported.

Officers attempted to engage the driver, 27-year-old Antwan Gilmore. Gilmore reacted by moving the vehicle forward. He stopped his vehicle but soon proceeded forward as an officer fired a gun multiple times, striking Gilmore. Gilmore’s vehicle continued forward until stopping at the Unit block of New York Avenue, NE, according to the press release.

MPD officers removed Gilmore from his vehicle and transported him to a local hospital. After all efforts failed, Gilmore succumbed to his injuries.