In another hour, his coworkers said, Mack L. Pope, 48, would have completed his part-time maintence job in Southcast Washington and would have begun preparing for a second, full-time job at the Pentagon.
But about 6 a.m. Tuesday, as he left the rear of a building at 315 N St. SE to empty trash into a dumpster. Pope was robbed of an undisclosed amount of money and fatally shot in the chest. He died of an internal hemorrhage on the way to D.C. General Hospital, police said.
Pope was the last of five persons, D.C. police said, who were confronted by a man clad in a jogging suit during a three-hour period before dawn Tuesday in Southeast. The first four were robbed, and Pope was robbed and shot, police said.
Born in North Carolina and a resident of Southeast Washington for about seven years before he bought a home in Hillcrest Heights, Pope was remembered yesterday by several who knew him as a hard-working man "who loved to work, to joke with people and a real family man."
Sheila Hart, Pope's sister-in-law, said he was the father of six, including two children from a previous marriage.
"He loved to joke a lot, he loved to cook and he was trying to make things better for his family," Hart said. "He worked hard and he had three jobs, one where he was shot, another at the Pentagon and a third at Grace Memorial Baptist Church, where he was a member."
Lynn Pittmon, Pope's supervisor at United Service Inc. a cleaning firm, said it was Pope's "usual routine to take the trash out at that time of morning. He had something else he would do later before leaving for his second job."
Pittmon said that according to the company's personnel records, Pope was hired about a year ago and had missed only two days' work.
"He was a hard worker, an expert in his work, and he told us this job would supplement his income from a full time job he had with the General Services Administration working at the Pentagon," Pittmon said.
Yesterday, neighbors living in the vicinity of the shooting and robberies, said violent crimes and robberies were a way of life around them.
One woman, walking with her arms full of groceries near the scene of one of the armed robberies, told a reporter: "It makes you afraid to go out. I sure hope they catch the guy."