Bladensburg teens charged in fatal beating of neighbor

July 30, 2012

David Krupski was about to leave to purchase more beer when two teens he had been drinking with decided to rob him, police said. The teens attacked Krupski with their fists, then with a shovel that he had tried to use to defend himself, leaving the man bloodied as he ran from his Bladensburg apartment, police said.

Around the corner and across a footbridge, Krupski, 54, collapsed. Police found his body there Saturday night. They charged the teens as adults with first-degree murder and robbery the next day.

“It’s ridiculous, man,” said Winston Grant, 60, who lives in the same apartment building. “Downright crazy.”

Police on Monday identified the teens as Andre Attaway, 15, and James Murray, 17. Court records indicate that they lived in apartments near Krupski’s. A woman who answered the door at Murray’s apartment declined to comment. Attaway’s aunt also declined to comment, and other family members did not respond to messages.

Police were tipped about trouble in the 5200 block of Newton Street — a community of low-rise apartment buildings that neighbor modest, single-family homes — about 11 p.m. Saturday when someone called 911 to report that people were drinking and chasing each other with a shovel, authorities said.

Bladensburg police arrived to find Krupski fatally injured, authorities said. Investigators learned that he had been drinking in his apartment with the teens and was heading out to buy more beer when the pair hatched a plan to rob him, said Capt. Joe Hoffman, the homicide commander for the Prince George’s County Police Department.

Hoffman said the teens attacked Krupski and wrested away a shovel he had tried to use in self-defense. Krupski was fatally beaten with that shovel, Hoffman said.

Hoffman declined to say how investigators identified the teens as suspects. Police said that after they were taken into custody, the teens “provided statements admitting their involvement.”

Grant, the neighbor, said he had only seen Krupski in the apartment for two or three weeks. He said Krupski always seemed to be painting, laying tile and drinking, and it was unclear whether he lived there. Grant said he did not hear the altercation on Saturday night.

No one answered the door at Krupski’s apartment on Monday, and efforts to reach his family were unsuccessful.

Staff researcher Magda Jean-Louis contributed to this report.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.
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