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Police Link Two Slayings in Troubled 'Triangle'

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By Allison Klein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 17, 2008

D.C. police said yesterday that two killings that took place in broad daylight this week in a pocket of Northeast Washington appear to be related.

A 60-year-old man, described by police as an innocent bystander, was wounded in one of the shootings. The violence took place Monday and Tuesday afternoons in an area known as the Triangle, which has been the scene of turf battles in recent years, police said.

"It's a volatile area," Assistant Police Chief Diane Groomes said.

Police have added patrols and vice units and put up large temporary lights to brighten the streets. Groomes said the lights will remain about two more weeks.

She said the problems have been centered in a stretch around Lincoln Road and Todd and T streets. About a year ago, three homicides in that area were tied to an apparent dispute over drug territory, Groomes said.

Authorities said they do not know what sparked this week's violence, which began at 5:20 p.m. Monday when William Foster, 28, of Suitland, was fatally shot in a car at North Capitol and R streets NE.

About 24 hours later, someone in a sport-utility vehicle opened fire in the nearby 2000 block of Lincoln Road, hitting two people. Gary Oliver English, 34, was killed, and the 60-year-old man, who was walking home, was grazed in the right shoulder.

"The older man was not a target at all," Groomes said. But authorities said that English, a Comcast mechanic who lived in the neighborhood, apparently was the person the gunman was seeking. They said they were investigating whether English had ties to a gang in the area.

At English's house yesterday, a man on the front porch said the family had no comment.

Residents in the neighborhood said yesterday that English was a good man who grew up in the area and went to his job at Comcast every day.

"He always showed respect to everybody," said one neighbor who agreed to talk on condition of anonymity.

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