Richard Weston recalled yesterday the outrage that overwhelmed him last month when a neighbor on Capitol Hill was fatally shot by one of two men who tried to force their way into the man's home.
"I find distrubing the randomness of this sort of crime," Weston said. "It could have been anybody on the other side of the door -- a child, a man, a woman, black or white. Shooting at whoever is on the other side of the door -- that's the alarming aspect of it."
Weston joined several neighbors and friends yesterday in announcing a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the persons responsible for the Dec. 27 slaying of his neighbor, Frank Flook.
"The safety and well-being of all the residents of this community are jeopardized by Flook's senseless and tragic death," said Marguerite Gras, chairman of the Capitol East Community Crime Council. "Every life in our community is diminished by the loss of this life."
She said the reward, which is expected to grow, was contributed by residents and businesses in the Capitol Hill East neighborhood, between Lincoln Park and the Anacostia River. "It [the reward] indicates the determination that safety and dignity must be preserved for all Capitol East residents."
Capt. Charles Samarra, head of the D.C. homicide squad, said his department had received several calls about the murder, but that no arrests had been made. "We are certain that individuals in the community are aware of who the prepertrators are . . . We feel this reward may be able to persuade the community to come forth."
Flook, 33, was shot in the head about 9:30 p.m. His wife, Marilyn, had answered the door when she mistook a male figure outside to be that of her paper boy.
When she opened the door, two men began pushing the door from the outside. As she struggled to get the door closed, her husband came to help. He was shot by one of the two men who then fled taking nothing.
The Flooks were two of only three whte living in the 1500 block of A Street NW. Some of their black neighbors have said that they believe the couple was victimized because they were white.
However, Rimsky Atkinson, chairman of the community advisory board, said at yesterday's press conference announcing the reward, that he does not believe the killing was racially motivated.
He said crime statistics in the Capitol Hill area show "black families are more apt to be victims of crime."
Atkinson said the reward is the result of "a groundswell of outrage that something should be done . . . What we have are blacks and whites on the Hill who are sick and tired of criminals on the Hill."
Weston, who lives a few blocks from the Flook home, concurs, "It's important for citizens to find ways to do something about crime. It's important for neighbors to not leave safety entirely to the police. Neighbors have to become involved in their community."
The Rev. John Boyles, pastor of the Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church at 201 Fourth St., SE, said he plans to hold a meeting with Capitol Hill residents at his church on Thursday night at 8 o'clock to discuss ways in which citizens can provide safety for them selves and others in the area.
Persons wishing to contribute to the Frank Flook Homicide Reward Fund may send donations to the Capitol East Community Crime Council at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE., Room 301, Washington, D.C. 20003.