A District of Columbia police officer under investigation for his involvement in a possible drug-making operation died yesterday from injuries sustained when he and two others were critically injured in an explosion and fire at his Northeast Washington home on Jan. 8, city police said.
City medical examiner Leroy Riddick said Walter McKenzie, 36, of 3413 13th St. NE, a seven-year veteran of the D.C. police force, died of first, second and third-degree burns to 90 percent of his body.
McKenzie and two other men, off-duty city policemen Charles Lynch and Percy Evans, of 1404 25th St. SE, were critically injured when a kitchen blast blew out the rear first floor windows and hurled a refrigerator into the yard of McKenize's home.
Lynch and Evans both were in satisfactory condition yesterday at the Washington Hospital Center.
McKenzie and Lynch, 31, who lives in Adelphi, were placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of an investigation of the alleged drug-making operation.
McKenzie and Lynch were described as friends Police and U.S. investigators who searched McKenzie's three story yellow wood frame house found parsley leaves and seven ingredients they said are used in making the hallucinogenic drug PCP, a legitimate animal tranquilizer that medical authorities said is popular with young people.
The drug is known on the streets as "Angel Dust," "Killer Weed," and "Wobble Weed." Medical authorities said that PCP usually is wrapped or sprayed on parsley leaves and smoked, and that the drug can lead to paranoia, numbness, schizophrenic symptoms and violent outbursts.
McKenzie and Lynch were described as frinds who attended the police training academy together. McKenzie worked in the Fourth police district with Lynch. McKenzie worked in a scout car and Lynch was a crime scene search officer.