3 killed, 9 wounded in separate shootings in D.C., Md.

By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 3, 2010

A spasm of gun violence left three people dead and nine wounded in the District and its Maryland suburbs in less than 24 hours over the weekend. None of the incidents appeared to be connected, authorities said.

Police officials were at a loss to explain the spate of shootings that started Saturday afternoon and continued through Sunday. The unseasonably warm weather might have had something to do with them, they said. Or they could be tragic coincidences.

"It is a warm day today, but as far as giving you a legitimate explanation as to why, [we] really don't have one," Cpl. Clinton Copeland, a Prince George's County police spokesman, said Sunday. "Sometimes, it's just coincidental."

Police in the District, which last year had historic lows in crime statistics, responded to five shootings that left one dead and six wounded. Prince George's had two shootings that left two dead and one injured. In Montgomery County, two people were wounded in two shootings.

The violence in the District began about 10:30 p.m. Saturday in the 4700 block of Jay Street NE, authorities said. A man sleeping in a car was awakened by the sound of gunfire and realized that he had been shot, said Gwendolyn Crump, a D.C. police spokeswoman. The man's injuries were not considered life-threatening, she said. Officers said they did not know the motive for the shooting.

About a half-hour later, police were called to Northeast Washington for a shooting in the 500 block of Edgewood Street, Crump said. Officers found Dezmine Perkins, 16, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Crump said. She said police knew of no suspects or motive in the killing.

A woman who identified herself as Perkins's aunt declined to give a phone interview but said, "He's a very good kid, and it should not have happened." Neighbors and friends said Perkins was a "respectful" young man who enjoyed playing basketball and football.

Another teenager, Kenyetta Nicholson-Stanley, 17, was killed outside the same apartment complex in October.

"We've had this happen before," said neighbor Dwight Alexander, 34. "If I had a say-so, I wish D.C. police would come over here more often."

Just before 1 a.m. Sunday, there were two more shootings. Three people, two men and a female teenager, were shot while walking in the 600 block of Southern Avenue SE, and another man was shot while walking in the 500 block of 51st Street NE.

Crump said she did not have information on suspects or motives in either case, and she did not know the condition of the victims. The man shot in Northeast, she said, reported a story similar to that of the man in the car: He heard gunfire and then realized he had been shot.

On Sunday, just after 1 p.m., a man was shot in the 5000 block of Benning Road NE. The victim, who was conscious, was taken to a hospital. Police said no other information was available.

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