District’s homicide total in 2014 rises to 25

Six people have been slain in the District since Thursday, a spike in homicides that has brought the total to 25 this year.

The six killings occurred in a period of less than 35 hours. Four of the slayings took place within about seven hours Friday night and early Saturday, beginning with the shooting of two brothers outside a church where a youth choir was practicing.

That double killing in Northeast Washington was followed within hours by two more homicides, one in Southeast and one in Northwest.

No obvious connection could be found among the five incidents, which occurred in three quadrants of the city and included a stabbing and an apparent beating in addition to shootings. In the year’s first 60 days, the city has had almost one-quarter as many homicides as in all of 2013, when 104 were recorded.

In the most recent of the six recent killings , Billy Andre Harris of Northwest was fatally shot about 3 a.m. Saturday in the 4800 block of Ninth Street NW, police said.

A lifelong resident of the neighborhood, Harris, 51, lived near where he was killed, said his younger brother, Marcus Jerkins.

“He knew everybody,” Jerkins said. “Everyone who knew him loved him and loved being around him,” Jerkins said.

Harris, the father of two and a veteran of D.C. National Guard service, had recently completed a job training program and was looking for work, Jerkins said. He was “just getting his life back together,” his brother said.

About three hours before Harris’s death, police found Andre McIntyre, 46, unconscious about 12:20 a.m. in the 3700 block of D Street SE. The cause of his death was blunt-force trauma to the head and neck, police said.

Someone who knew McIntyre said he had “two beautiful daughters he loved very much” and who “loved him very much.”

He also had three grandsons and was called “a nice guy and very friendly.”

In Friday night’s double shooting, Khalid Jamal Bryant, 34, and Jason Emmanuel Bryant, 26, were shot multiple times outside Antioch Baptist Church at 50th Street and Lee Street NE, in the Deanwood area.

“They were good guys, very good guys,” a relative said. “They would do anything for you.”

Pastor William H. Gibbs said more than 15 adults and almost twice as many children were in the church at the time. Some were members of the junior choir, but several children were practicing a play to be staged at a wedding.

Residents of the area, a section of single-family houses, said they heard as many as 10 gunshots.

No shots were heard in the church. Church members saw the flashing lights of police vehicles and saw that crime-scene tape had been strung. But none of the church members had to pass a fallen body as they left, Gibbs said.

The brothers were not members, he said.

In the first two of the six slayings, two teenagers were killed Thursday. One was stabbed and the other shot. An arrest was made in the stabbing, police said.

Carol Morello is the diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post, covering the State Department.
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