Two District men sentenced to decades in prison for fatal shooting of man aboard Metro bus

Two District men were sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for the fatal shooting of a man on a Metrobus last year.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Motley sentenced Delron Atchison, 24, to 30 years, and Vincent Gray, 22, to 21 years, for the Oct. 19, 2011 slaying of Demetrius Thompson as he was riding the late night W4 bus in the 2100 block of Alabama SE towards his mother’s home.

The two men were also charged with assault with a deadly weapon in connection with three other passengers who were seated near Thompson when the two men walked up to Thompson. Atchison then pulled out a 9-millimeter gun and shot Thompson twice.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Liebman said the three men were involved in a fist-fight about 40 minutes prior to the shooting. Although both Gray and Atchison pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while armed in October, Liebman criticized the two for not informing authorities where they obtained the gun after the fight.

Atchison and Gray were arrested in Orlando, Fla. about a week after the crime.

Liebman played a copy of the security video from the Metrobus that he said showed the shooting and also displayed passengers running off the bus, falling out onto the street in panic.

The video, which prosecutors said showed the two men boarding the bus and shoot Thompson, was not played for the audience, which included family and friends of the defendants and the victim. Liebman described two of the passengers seated next to Thompson as “cowering in fear for their lives.”

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.
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