Correction to This Article
This article incorrectly identified the first name of the family's attorney, George L. Lattimer.

Man, 21, shot and killed boarding a bus in the District

By Theola Labbé-DeBose and Paul Duggan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 12, 2009

A 21-year-old man whose brother was killed in a controversial police shooting was gunned down Wednesday on a Metrobus in the District after attending the funeral of another homicide victim, according to his family.

George Rawlings was shot at 11:40 a.m. in the 1400 block of H Street NE, a bustling commercial corridor with a mix of longtime liquor stores and vintage shops alongside new bars and restaurants and a renovated performing arts theater.

D.C. Assistant Chief Patrick Burke said the man, later identified as Rawlings, was stepping onto a westbound X2 bus when shots were fired from the sidewalk, hitting him several times. There were no other passengers on the bus, Burke said.

"He was just boarding the bus. He was actually onboard and was shot while standing in the doorway of the bus by shooters on the outside of the bus," Burke said.

Rawlings's younger brother, DeOnté Rawlings, was 14 when he was killed in 2007 by an off-duty D.C. police officer who had gone to recover a stolen minibike. Federal officials ruled the shooting justified.

Gregory L. Lattimer, an attorney for the Rawlings family, said he was on the phone Wednesday with Charles Rawlings Sr. when he got the news about his son's death.

George Rawlings was among about 100 mourners who attended the funeral of Ashton Hunter, 19, who was shot on Halloween. At least two D.C. police officers also attended the service at Capitol Mortuary, after a request by Hunter's family, said Carlos Rios, a funeral home employee.

Rawlings left the 11 a.m. service early.

Lattimer said Rawlings feared for his life and went into hiding after Hunter's killing. Lattimer said talk on the street was that Rawlings would be targeted as a witness to the shooting. Rawlings did not seek police protection.

"When the thought of going to the police was mentioned, this is a situation where DeOnté was killed by the police . . . so how could [George] go to the police and expect them to legitimately try to help him?" Lattimer said. "That was his thinking. Whether that was right or wrong . . . that's the way it was."

A police source familiar with the investigation of Hunter's killing said George Rawlings was not a witness in the case.

Lattimer said the Rawlings family was reeling from the news.

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