Teen charged in fatal shooting of George Rawlings after D.C. funeral

By Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A teenager arrested in Landover on Friday has been charged with premeditated first-degree murder in the Nov. 11 shooting death of a District man who was boarding a bus on H Street NE.

At an initial hearing Saturday, Jeffrey Britt, 17, of no fixed address was ordered held without bond in the shooting death of George Rawlings, 21, after Rawlings attended a funeral.

Rawlings was the older brother of DeOnté Rawlings, who was shot and killed in 2007 by an off-duty police officer who said that DeOnté, 14, had stolen his mini bike.

According to charging documents filed in D.C. Superior Court, Britt and Rawlings separately attended the funeral of Ashton Hunter at the Capitol Mortuary at 1425 Maryland Ave. NE earlier that day. Hunter, 19, was fatally shot Oct. 31.

At the funeral, several witness allegedly overheard Britt and others say that George Rawlings was involved in Hunter's killing. One of the witnesses heard Britt say he "should kill" Rawlings as Rawlings entered the funeral home, according to the documents.

After the funeral, Britt and two other individuals followed Rawlings as he left.

One of the witnesses reported seeing Rawlings standing at the Metrobus stop in the busy commercial district in the 1400 block of H Street, along with Britt and two other individuals, about 11:45 a.m.

When the bus arrived, Rawlings started to climb aboard, and the witness heard multiple gunshots, according to the documents.

One of the witnesses said he saw Britt shooting at Rawlings, who was lying on the steps of the bus.

Eight to 12 shell casings were clustered in the gutter at 14th and H streets.

The police report said Rawlings had a Smith & Wesson 9mm semiautomatic pistol and a bottle of clear liquid that had a chemical odor consistent with PCP.

Gregory L. Lattimer, an attorney for the Rawlings family, said Rawlings had been targeted as a witness in the Halloween shooting death of Hunter but was unwilling to seek police protection.

Lattimer said Rawlings had been in hiding since the shooting but emerged to attend the funeral.

A suspect in Hunter's shooting had been arrested and jailed when Rawlings was killed.

Britt's next hearing is scheduled for Dec. 1 before D.C. Superior Court Judge Frederick H. Weisberg.

Staff writer Clarence Williams contributed to this report.

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