Two Maryland men who were shot and killed in a car in the District’s Bloomingdale neighborhood early Sunday were attacked by a passenger who opened fire without provocation, according to a witness account described in court papers.
The witness, who was one of five people in the blue Honda Accord, told police that the suspect used a silver handgun and that he “pulled the trigger and stated ‘bang’ every time he fired the gun,” according to a police affidavit filed in D.C. Superior Court.
The vehicle crashed into a barrier wall about 1:15 a.m. at North Capitol and T streets in Northwest. A third person who was wounded was being treated at an area hospital Monday.
Authorities said they weren’t sure whether the shootings are related to an incident Sunday night in which four people were wounded by gunfire two blocks away, in the 1700 block of Lincoln Road NE, in neighboring Eckington.
Another fatal shooting Sunday night, in Southeast, brought the day’s death toll to three in the District.
The North Capitol Street shooting claimed the lives of Donchell Thomas, 21, of Montgomery Village, and Derek Price, 20, of District Heights. Police said they died at two District hospitals — one Sunday morning, the other Sunday night.
D.C. police said they arrested Jimmie Fleming, 36, of Northwest, and charged him with two counts of first-degree murder. He lives in Bloomingdale, about three blocks from where the car crashed. Police said he was arrested at his home, where they found a Redskins jersey and a leg brace a witness said he was wearing in the car. Police said they also found a bag of ammunition.
The police affidavit supporting the arrest says the witness told detectives that “no one was talking prior to the gun being fired.” The witness said one person who was not shot passed out, and another passenger was crying over his mortally wounded friend, the driver.
D.C. police said they have not learned a possible motive.
Teri Janine Quinn, president of the Bloomingdale Civic Association, said she is pleased with the police presence in the area and that police made a quick arrest.
She said she doesn’t believe the shootings are related to the neighborhood, which is several blocks north of Truxton Circle, where there have been several shootings this year.
“The two victims who died both had addresses in Maryland,” Quinn said. “That gives you a sense that they might know each other and just happened to be here when they got caught up with something. Still, it’s really concerning, but I don’t think people are just coming here shooting at Bloomingdale residents.”
The other fatal shooting Sunday occurred about 10:30 p.m. in the 3500 block of Sixth Street SE in Congress Heights. Police identified the victim as Delonte Hemphill, 22, of Southeast. No other information was immediately released.