D.C. police probe latest spike in killings; number of female victims worries chief

One of three women killed in the District since Friday had been stabbed while her three young children were inside a Southeast Washington home, according to the District’s police chief, who described the scene as “horrible.”

Authorities said in court documents that the body of Eboni Domally, 31, was found about 4:15 a.m. Sunday near a basement door of the single-family home in the 5200 block of Queens Stroll Place. The documents said that she had been wounded in the abdomen and that a knife handle was discovered nearby. It is not clear whether the children witnessed the attack. Their ages were not immediately available.

Chief Cathy L. Lanier, addressing an unusually violent four-day stretch in which police investigated five killings, would not elaborate on motives but said fatal domestic-violence cases are on the rise. Twelve women are among this year’s 59 homicide victims, she said, compared to 11 among all of the 104 slayings in 2013. The number of killings in the District is up from 38 by this time last year.

Three of the slayings occurred during the hours police saturated the streets with extra uniformed officers as part of All Hands on Deck, a controversial tactic decried by the police labor union but that the chief says curtails crime.

Lanier noted that two of the homicides were indoors; the extra show of force is designed to combat street crime.

She said that despite the killings and a large brawl outside a nightclub on New York Avenue NW, during which a man was shot in the buttocks, there was a 27 percent drop in violent crime between 3  p.m. Friday and Sunday night, the hours encompassing All Hands on Deck. Lanier added that, overall, crime is down 14 percent this year and there have been 500 fewer robberies.

Still, the chief warned that some problems persist. Her biggest concern: a “significant increase” in domestic slayings and an unusual number of women killed.

Six of the women slain this year are believed to have been victims of domestic violence, according to police and court papers. Five other cases are undetermined, although police say they suspect domestic abuse in some cases. An elderly woman found dead near her home in Northeast was killed in a random attack, police have said.

A cousin of Domally’s, who lives in Wheaton, said he had not seen her in years and didn’t know her well enough to comment. A search warrant filed in the case says that her body was found outside a basement door, near a patio of the single-family house. Police reported taking from the house the knife handle, the blade, two cellphones, a computer and handwritten letters.

Relatives of the two other women killed could not be located.

Mary Anne Thomas, 53, was found dead about 4:15 a.m. Friday in the 1200 block of Howison Place SW. Police said she had been shot. The body of Barbara Moore, 64, was found about 8:30 p.m. Friday in the 4100 block of Gault Place NE; an autopsy on Sunday revealed that she had been asphyxiated.

The latest of the five slayings claimed the life of Darryl Delonta Jacobs, 23, who was shot about 12:30 a.m. Monday in the 1900 block of H Street NE.

About 2:45 a.m. Saturday, D.C. police made an arrest in a shooting death in a small park at Second Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW, near Union Station, the Georgetown Law Center and a homeless shelter.

Court documents describe the motive as an argument over a single can of Natural Ice beer.

The documents say Talbert Mitchell Bright, 48, of no permanent address, asked the suspect for a beer.

When the man said no, police said, Bright reached into a cooler to grab one of the 30 cans and was pushed, then shot.

James Johnson, 30, also of no fixed address, was charged with second-degree murder.

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