A man arrested Monday and charged in a fatal shooting outside an elementary school in Capitol Hill on Friday afternoon was settling a grudge with an acquaintance who had threatened him, according to court documents filed in the case.
The shooter, James Walter Yates III, had argued with the victim, Andrew Pierce Joyner, on Easter Sunday, court documents say. Joyner had pointed a handgun at Yates, and said, “I will bust you.” A friend had separated the two combatants.
Police said the men confronted each other again about 3:30 p.m. on Friday in the 600 block of Morris Place NE, across the street from the Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School. The school day had ended 15 minutes earlier, and children and parents were in the playground, but not in view of the shooting.
In the court document, witnesses described hearing four shots fired in two bursts by a man hiding between parked cars. Joyner, 29, of Fort Washington, was shot several times and died later at an area hospital.
A witness jotted down the alleged shooter’s license plate number on a brown paper bag, the court document says. That quickly led police to a blue Nissan Altima parked in front of a home in the 300 block of 16th Street NE, about 20 blocks away.
Police said Yates, 29, of Southeast, emerged from a window of the house but declined to accompany police for questioning. Officers obtained a search warrant Friday night and said they found a Glock 9mm handgun in a second-floor bedroom stored in a blue bag, along with an extended magazine loaded with 10 9mm bullets. Police said in court documents that the magazine was hidden in a trapdoor of the closet.
Authorities obtained a warrant and arrested Yates on Monday afternoon, charging him with second-degree murder while armed.
Joyner’s girlfriend told police that Yates had shown up at a family Easter gathering and had argued with Joyner. She told police that Yates is dating her cousin.
The nature of the argument was not disclosed. Yates could make his first appearance in D.C. Superior Court later on Tuesday .
The shooting near the school has residents concerned, and the commander of the First District station has promised a community meeting. The neighborhood is on the north end of Capitol Hill, between Stanton Park and H Street, five blocks from Union Station, and has a mix of new homeowners and some remnants of when the area was more unsettled.