Southeast Shooting Kills Best Friends
Teens Were on Way Home; Three Hurt
By Tim Craig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 12, 2004; Page B01
Two teenagers described as best friends were killed yesterday morning when at least one gunman shot five people in Southeast Washington, the latest in a string of deadly violence involving juveniles in the District.
Police said the victims -- four teenagers and a 22-year-old man -- had been walking in the 2900 block of Pomeroy Road about 1:15 a.m. when two men approached on foot and at least one began firing.
Michael E. Simms, 16, and Antoine Holroyd, 18, were pronounced dead at the scene. Simms was shot in the back and Holroyd was shot in the head, according to police and family members.
The other victims, two 17-year-olds and the 22-year-old man, were taken to hospitals with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, police said.
After the shooting, the assailants got into a dark-colored "SUV-like vehicle" driven by a third man, said Lt. David Jackson of the D.C. police department's Violent Crimes Division.
No arrests have been made, and police know of no suspects.
"We are not ruling out some retaliatory action, and we are not ruling out [that] it is one of those neighborhood rivalries," Jackson said. "There was obviously something there, because it was not a random act."
Kecia Simms, Michael Simms's mother, said her son was shot a few hundred yards from the family's home at Park Chester Apartments, near Barry Farm, in the 2600 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE.
"They were coming to my house," said Simms, 36, adding that her son had a 1 a.m. curfew. "A couple guys were going to spend the night with him, and they all got shot coming into my house."
Simms said one of the victims was her 17-year-old nephew, who was shot in the hand. Police asked that the names of the injured not be released because they are witnesses.
Holroyd's relatives could not be located yesterday. But Simms said that her son, who had just finished his junior year at Ballou Senior High School, and Holroyd, who lived in the 2600 block of Jasper Street SE, were best friends.
She said that her son played junior varsity football at Ballou when he was in the 10th grade. Holroyd, she said, did not attend Ballou. Jackson said he did not know how many of the victims were Ballou students.
In February, a 17-year-old star running back at Ballou was shot at the school during an apparent dispute between two neighborhood gangs.
Simms and several other neighbors, who refused to identify themselves for fear of retribution, said the gunshots yesterday morning sounded as if they came from an automatic weapon.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
Montishea Saunders adds another stuffed animal to a memorial for Simms and Antoine Holroyd. Neighbors said there is a history of violence around the housing development.
(Michael Temchine - For The Washington Post)
Based on erroneous information provided by D.C. Police, the name of a youth, 17,who was slain early Sunday in Southeast Washington has been misspelled in several Metro articles. His name is Antwain Holroyd.