Five people were killed during another weekend of bloodshed in the District that pushed the number of homicides in the city to 11 more than the record total at this time last year, D.C. police said yesterday.
The toll from the past two weekends helped increase the total to 236 killings this year, compared with 225 last year and 156 at the same time in 1988, police said. Two weekends ago, eight people were killed in the District.
The recent rise in killings is in sharp contrast with the first four months of this year, when the city's homicide rate declined significantly from year-ago levels. District police had been encouraged by the earlier drop-off, but said yesterday that they feared the number of killings would continue to rise in coming months because homicides generally increase in summer.
D.C. police detectives yesterday said they knew of no particular reason for the spate of killings, and few details were available about the weekend homicides.
In Prince George's County, where the homicide rate had also declined in the first four months of the year, police spokesman Chuck Cook said the slowdown has continued. There have been 52 homicides there this year, compared with 66 at the same time last year, Cook said.
The most recent District homicide occurred about 3 a.m. yesterday in the 700 block of 13th Street SE, where Ronald Andrew Robinson, 33, of Tipton Lane in Alexandria, was shot several times. He was taken to D.C. General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 5 a.m. Police detectives said they have no suspects or motive in the shooting.
Shortly after midnight yesterday, three people were shot in the 5000 block of Ayers Place SE. One victim, Terry Owens, of Hopewell, Va., died at D.C. General Hospital. Two others, Dominic McKenzie and Leroy Smith, were taken to D.C. General Hospital, but neither police nor a hospital official knew their conditions.
In another shooting shortly after midnight yesterday, an unidentified person, who police said was about 30 years old, was killed in the 2400 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE. He died at D.C. General Hospital at 2:15 a.m.
An unidentified woman was also shot early yesterday morning at New Jersey and Florida avenues NW. She had been sitting on a bench with friends when she was shot, police said.
The woman is in critical condition at the Washington Hospital Center.
The weekend killings began late Friday night when Albert King, 26, of New York, was found fatally shot in front of an apartment building in the 2900 block of Second Street SE.
About 4 a.m. Saturday, John Smith, 33, of the 5100 block of H Street SE, was found stabbed on that block. He was pronounced dead about an hour later at D.C. General Hospital. Police later arrested Broadus Walker, 18, of the 5000 block of E Street SE, and charged him with second-degree murder in connection with the stabbing.