A 17-year-old high school student and a man police described as her boyfriend were shot fatally last night in a Northeast Washington row house in what appeared to be a homicide and suicide, D.C. homicide investigators reported.
The victims in the incident, which occurred about 9 p.m. at 611 Morton Place, were identified early today as Vernida S. Vines, of the Morton Place address, and Maurice Hodge, 23, of 7605 Barlowe Rd., Palmer Park. Police said Vines and Hodge were found lying on the living room floor, with a handgun nearby.
Detectives said they believed that the girl, a senior at Spingarn High School, was shot by Hodge, who then turned the gun on himself. The shootings followed what detectives described as a dispute between the two.
Both Hodge and Vines were taken to the Washington Hospital Center where they were pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
Neighbors said they knew little about either of them. They said Vines, a female cousin of about the same age and the Vines' mother moved into the row house within the last few months.
One neighbor said that before the shooting he had heard "a little yelling" coming from the house, which is on a block-long street just south of Gallaudet College.
After he heard three shots, the neighbor said, Vines' cousin came running into his house to use the telephone. The neighbor said the cousin appeared afraid to return to her home and stayed with him for some time, but that she said little about what had happened.