9 Slayings in NE, 1 Appeal to City

Addrinne Battle holds her son "Little Melvin Battle" at the funeral for Melvin Seals. The boy is Seals's son.
Addrinne Battle holds her son "Little Melvin Battle" at the funeral for Melvin Seals. The boy is Seals's son. (By Jahi Chikwendiu -- The Washington Post)
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By Clarence Williams and Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A series of recent shootings and an assault left nine people dead in a section of Northeast Washington, leading to demands by residents and community leaders for a strong city response. Police have increased patrols in the area but have made arrests in only three of the cases.

These are the victims, all slain in the city's 5th Police District:

April 2

Tory Wilcher, 30

Hours before his death, Wilcher cashed a check he received for plumbing work, worth about $1,000, and then flashed hundreds of dollars at a neighborhood dice game. Police said an argument erupted over money, and Wilcher got into a scrape with 18-year-old Vincent Mills Jr., of Hyattsville. Wilcher, of Southeast, was shot in the head. His body was found about 10 p.m. in the 800 block of 19th Street. His pockets were turned inside out, and his money was gone. Mills was arrested April 27 and charged with second-degree murder.

April 14

William Foster, 29

He was killed at 5:20 p.m., his body found in a car at North Capitol and R streets. The slaying appears linked to drug turf wars and rivalries involving three groups of young people in Northeast Washington, police said. Foster, who lived in Suitland, had been in and out of trouble, with two convictions on drug charges.

April 15

Gary Oliver English, 34

Barely 24 hours after Foster's death, English, a Comcast mechanic, was killed nearby. English was in the 2000 block of Lincoln Road at 5:40 p.m. when someone opened fire from a passing SUV. A 60-year-old man walking nearby was grazed in the shoulder. English died from multiple gunshot wounds. Police said they believe that the killer was targeting English, who lived in the neighborhood, and that the shooting was somehow linked to Foster's killing. They said they were investigating whether English had ties to gangs in the area. Over the years, he had been convicted three times on drug charges; his most recent conviction was in 2006, for assault, court records show.

April 16

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