Homicides Decrease by Nearly Half in November

Homicides in the District of Columbia decreased in November by almost half the number of murders in October.

According to D.C. Witness data, there were 21 homicides in October compared to 11 homicides in November, a 48 percent decrease.

However, even though November homicides were low, the number of homicides in the city has increased by nearly 31 percent from 2017. According to D.C. Witness data, there were 155 homicides in the city as of Dec. 3 compared to 118 homicides at this same time last year.

Of the eight homicides recorded in November, officers from the Metropolitan Police Department have arrested suspects in four of the cases.

The most recent occurred on Dec. 3 when police arrested Robert Theodore Smith. According to a news release, Smith, 22, allegedly shot 19-year old Nya Howard-Reynolds on the Unit Block of 57th Place, SE on Nov. 30. He made his first appearance at the DC Courts on Dec. 4. Smith is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 7.

Twenty-six year old William Alexander Marrouquin Gallardo was arrested on Nov. 26 for his connection in the death of Noe Alberto Gallardo Ponce, 22, on the 1600 block of New Jersey Avenue, NW earlier that same day. Gallardo is scheduled for a felony status conference on March 8, 2019. The men were apparently cousins.

DC police arrested Demetrius Pierce on Nov. 26. Pierce, 23, allegedly shooting Nazir Ahmad, 68, on the 900 block of Brentwood Road, NE on Nov. 3. According to a detective, the homicide was committed while the defendant was trying to rob a gas station.  Pierce, 32, is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 12.

Police also arrested Donnell Mills and Dale Thomas on Nov. 19 and Nov. 21, respectively. The men allegedly stabbed 38-year-old Jelani Mohammed on the 1500 block of Benning Road, NE on Nov. 8. Mills and Thomas are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 11.

In October, D.C. Witness started tracking vehicular homicides in its monthly report of human-caused deaths in the District. Overall there were 23 deaths in October, including four deaths by vehicular accidents, according to the data. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of DC labeled one of those vehicular deaths as a homicide.

The defendant, Rodney Bell, 42, was presented at DC Courts on Nov. 21. He is charged with second-degree murder and possession of PCP in the death of 32-year-old Kevin Thomas on the 4700 block of South Capitol Street, SW in October.  Bell’s preliminary hearing was rescheduled from Nov. 30 to Jan. 3, 2019.

The decrease in fatalities barely shifted from October to November, even with the inclusion vehicular collisions. The decrease is still almost half the number from last month, down 52 percent. There were no vehicular homicides in November, according to the data.

Data also shows the city experienced a decrease in homicides in August with eight homicides, which was nearly a 58 percent decrease from the 19 homicides in July.


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