A Northeast Washington man was shot and killed by a District police officer late Friday night, following a dispute in the 500 block of H Street NE, police said.
Winston Harris, 35, of 1012 Fourth St. NE, was shot in the chest and abdomen during a scuffle with Officer David C. Whidden, a four-year veteran of the department, according to police officials. Harris was pronounced dead at 12:47 yesterday morning at D.C. General Hospital.
Capt. Jimmy Wilson, commander of the homicide division, said the shooting occurred at about 11:30 p.m. after Whidden had started to write Harris a ticket for what witnesses say appeared to be double parking. Harris's brother-in-law, Walter James Gary, 43, of 244 36th St. NE, intervened becoming "loud and boisterous," Wilson said.
Whidden's partner, Officer Bollen O. Wells, arrested Gary, Wilson said. When Harris argued about Gary's arrest, police and witnesses say, a fight broke out between Harris and Whidden, Harris knocked Whidden down and shots were fired.
Police said there was no indication that either Harris or Gary was armed. Gary could not be reached for comment.
Wilson said that Whidden was treated at George Washington Hospital for a fractured jaw and released.
Some residents of the H Street business district, who say they saw the shooting, contend that police used excessive violence and poor judgment during the incident.
Walter Ross, who operates an upholstery shop at Fifth and H streets NE, said he watched the shooting, from across the street.
"I've known [Harris] since he was a teen-ager," Ross said. "He's just a working man. He never bothered nobody. He never caused anyone no trouble."
Wilson said Whidden, who is assigned to the 1st District, routinely was placed on administrative leave pending the findings of a department investigation of the shooting.