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  Full Text: Starbucks Affidavit

Washingtonpost.com
Wednesday, March 17, 1999

The Starbucks Murders
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Scene
Television cameras record Starbucks shootings suspect Carl Derek Havord Cooper leaving his house. (WUSA)

March 18: Starbucks Suspect Describes Killing Three
March 6: Lone Starbucks Suspect Charged
March 3: Man Questioned in Series of Crimes
July 6, 1998: Killings Remain Unsolved
Sept. 30, 1997: Police Delay Seizing Possible Evidence
July 8, 1997: 3 Slain at D.C. Starbucks
Following is the full text of a D.C. police affidavit unsealed Wednesday in D.C. Superior Court, where Starbucks triple-murder suspect Carl Derek Havord Cooper was ordered held without bond.

The affiant, Brian Reed McAllister, is a Lieutenant with the Metropolitan Police Department. I have been a member of the Metropolitan Police Metropolitan for eighteen years, and I am currently assigned to the Major Case Team, a task force comprised of agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and detectives of the Metropolitan Police Department. Since September 1997, I have been involved in the investigation of a triple murder that took place at the Starbucks Coffee Shop in Georgetown, District of Columbia on July 6, 1997.

Information obtained in this affidavit is based in part on information provided by detectives and officers of the Metropolitan Police Department and the Prince George's County Police Department, Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and members of other police departments and law enforcement/investigative agencies, information provided by witnesses and confidential sources, observations made by law enforcement agents and the experience and background of the affiant and other investigators involved in this investigation.

Members of the Metropolitan Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are jointly conducting an investigation into the July 6, 1997, murders of three Starbucks Coffee Company employees at the Starbucks store located at 1810 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. The three murders occurred during an apparent robbery attempt after the store was closed.

The initial investigation disclosed the following: on Monday, July 7, 1997, at approximately 5:15 a.m., the bodies of Mary Caitrin Mahoney, Emory Allen Evans and Aaron David Goodrich were found by the morning store supervisor in the rear of Starbucks Coffee, 1810 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. All three had suffered gunshot wounds. Shift supervisor Mary Mahoney, Emory Evans and David Goodrich worked the last shift the previous day. Further investigation determined that the three were shot shortly after the store closed, and while the store was being shut down on previous evening. This was the last shift at the end of the long Fourth of July weekend, and the receipts for that period -- over $10,000 -- had accumulated in the safe. Although the safe had not been opened, and no money was taken, the available evidence suggested that the murders were the result of an unsuccessful attempted robbery. There were no signs of forced entry.

All three victims were pronounced dead on the scene by the District of Columbia Medical Examiner's Office. Later autopsies revealed that all three victims died of gunshot wounds and that the manner of those deaths was homicide.

Witness One ("W-1") has been interviewed by detectives investigating these murders and has reported that he is a close friend of Carl Derick Cooper, who lives at [1200 Block of] Gallatin Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. According to W-1, Carl Cooper approached him prior to the Starbucks murders and asked if W-1 would like to accompany him in robbing a Starbucks coffee shop in Georgetown. Cooper told W-1 he had visited the Starbucks and had determined it to be a good target for an armed robbery. Although W-1 agreed to participate in the proposed robbery, Cooper never followed up on their conversation. W-1 did not hear about the murders until the day after they occurred.

On March 1, 1999, Carl Cooper was arrested in Washington, D.C. on an arrest warrant charging him with the attempted murder of Bruce Howard in Prince George's County, Maryland on August 12, 1996. In an interview subsequent to his arrest and his waiver of Miranda rights, Carl Cooper gave his address as [1200 Block of] Gallatin Street, N.E. Washington, D.C. He also admitted in writing that he committed the murders at the Starbucks coffee shop on July 6, 1997. Cooper admitted, in substance, the following:

Cooper had planned to rob the Starbucks in Georgetown for about a month prior to the triple murder. He chose Sunday, July 6, 1997 as the date to commit the robbery with the expectation that the proceeds from the weekend's business would be on hand. That morning, he visited Starbucks in order to case it out and make sure that it was doing a brisk business. That evening, Cooper drove by himself to the rear of the Starbucks coffee shop and parked his car. Armed with a .380 caliber handgun and a .38 caliber snubnose revolver, Cooper walked into the shop and announced the robbery to the three employees who were present - a white female, a white male and a black male. He then forced the three employees into a rear office at gunpoint.

Cooper ordered the white female employee, who identified herself as the manager, to open the safe that was inside that office. When she refused to comply, he fired a warning shot from the .38 caliber revolver into the ceiling. At that point, the female employee ran out of the office. Cooper caught her in the hallway and started wrestling to gain control of the keys to the safe. When she resisted, he shot her with the .380. Cooper then shot her several more times with both guns.

After shooting the female manager, Cooper turned to the male employees who were still inside the office and shot both of them. He specifically recalls shooting the black male employee three times. The first gunshot dropped the black male employee to the ground, but did not kill him. When he continued to move and moan, Cooper shot him twice more in the head to put him out of his pain. Once the shooting stopped, Cooper ran out of the store without stopping to take any money. He fled back to his home, where he disposed of the guns and washed the blood out of his clothes.

Coooper also admitted that he told W-1 about his plan to rob the Starbucks and that he asked W-1 to participate, but that he did not take W-1 with him on the day of the murders.

Cooper's version of events is corroborated by a number of facts and pieces of evidence that have been developed during the investigation of these murders. First, the victims are of the race and gender that Cooper uses to describe them. Ms. Mahoney is a white female; Mr. Evans a black male; and Mr. Goodrich a white male. Second, the pattern and number of times that he describes shooting the victims is consistent with the autopsies and the evidence from the murder scene. The autopsy of Ms. Mahoney and the crime scene reveal that she was shot five times with both the .380 caliber handgun and the .38 caliber revolver. The autopsy of Mr. Evans and the crime scene demonstrate that Mr. Evans was felled by a shot to the chest that struck the spinal column but did not kill him. He was then shot twice in the head as he lay on the ground. Also, a firearms expert has examined a photograph of the contact gunshot would to Mr. Evans' chest and determined that the imprint left by that gunshot is consistent with having been left by a snubnose handgun. Third, the warning shot that Cooper describes firing from the .38 caliber revolver in the rear office is evidenced by a .38 caliber slug that was recovered by crime scene technicians from the ceiling in that office.

Based on the above described set of facts and circumstances, this affiant respectfully requests that a District of Columbia Superior Court arrest warrant be issued charging CARL DERICK COOPER with the first-degree felony murders while armed of Mary Caitrin Mahoney, Emory Allen Evans and Aaron David Goodrich.

© Copyright 1999 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive

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