October Homicides Increase by 50% from September

Homicides in October increased by 50 percent from September and have outpaced homicides from October 2020, according to D.C. Witness data.

Homicides rose in the District of Columbia in October by 50 percent from September. Data also shows that twenty-seven homicides occurred in October compared to 24 in October 2020.

This year’s homicides included one officer-involved shooting. Deandre Johnson was shot and killed after what Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Robert J. Contee III called “an intense physical struggle.”

According to court documents, police officers were at an apartment on the 1300 block of Congress Street, SE to serve 30-year-old Johnson with a Temporary Protection Order due to an alleged domestic violence incident from the day before. Once officers entered the apartment, they decided to arrest Johnson for assault with a dangerous weapon. Johnson allegedly resisted, which led to the struggle.

“Based upon initial interviews, it was reported that Mr. Johnson grabbed one of the officer’s firearms while in the holster,” Contee said. “It can be heard on the Body Worn Camera an officer stating, ‘he’s got my’ while almost simultaneously an officer discharged their weapon, striking Mr. Johnson in the back.”

However, D.C. Witness previously reported that Contee said the BWC footage does not “conclusively” show Johnson grabbing the gun from the officer’s holster.

Johnson was pronounced dead on the scene, Chief Contee said during a press conference. The three officers involved were put on on paid administrative leave until the investigation is finished.

Two of the homicides in October resulted from stabbings. The rest were shootings. In comparison, seven homicides from October 2020 were stabbings.

The stabbings included, Talaya Wright, 41, who was stabbed on the 600 block of Parkland Place, SE on Oct. 7. No arrests have been made in relation to this homicide.

Aaron Langford was stabbed in the 1600 block of 18th Street, SE, on Oct. 25. Charles Haythe, 30, has been charged with first-degree murder in relation to the 27-year-old’s homicide. An investigation found the homicide to be domestic in nature, according to a press release.

The average age of victims is getting younger. In October the average age documents as 31-years-old. In October of 2020, the average age of victims was 33-years-old, according to D.C. Witness data.

Ward 7 saw their homicide count in October more than double that of September, with seven in October.

Ward 2 and Ward 3 had no homicides in September or October. Ward 2 has only had five homicides in total in 2021, with the last dating back to July. Ward 3 has had less, with only two homicides so far this year with the last dating back to April.

Wards 1 and 6 saw no increase in homicides.

Mark Lu created this graphic