Teen arrested in Rawlings slaying, police sources say

By Clarence Williams and Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 15, 2009

A teenager has been arrested in the death of George Rawlings, 21, who was shot Wednesday as he boarded a bus on H Street NE, D.C. police sources said Saturday night.

Few details were available about the arrest. Based on information from one investigative source, the arrest came either late Friday or early Saturday.

It was not clear what charge had been placed in the incident, and investigators gave no information about a possible motive in the killing.

A lawyer who represents Rawlings's family had said that Rawlings feared he would be targeted as a witness in a Halloween night shooting.

Gregory L. Lattimer, the family lawyer, said that although it was rumored that Rawlings would be targeted as a witness to Ashton Hunter's shooting, he was unwilling to seek police protection.

In a controversial 2007 incident, Rawlings's brother, DeOnté, 14, was killed in 2007 by an off-duty police officer.

Lattimer said last week that Rawlings did not believe that the police would try to help him.

Rawlings had been in hiding, according to the lawyer, but apparently emerged to attend the funeral for Hunter, 19, the victim in the Halloween night shooting.

A police source said last week that George Rawlings was not a witness in Hunter's shooting.

A suspect has been arrested in that case and was in jail when Rawlings was killed.

Among the unusual aspects of Rawlings's killing was that it occurred during daytime on a busy commercial street.

At the time of the shooting, police said they were looking for three suspects. Eight to 12 shell casings were clustered in the gutter at 14th and H streets, where the attack occurred.

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