D.C. Officer Apparently Kills Self

A 34-year-old D.C. police officer apparently killed himself Saturday and was discovered by Prince George's County police trying to serve him an arrest warrant.

A Prince George's police spokeswoman said that when officers entered the house, in the 5700 block of Suitland Road, they found Darrin Reaves dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Reaves had been involved in an "ongoing domestic dispute," Officer Julie Valdes said, but she said she had no information on the nature of the arrest warrant. She also did not know where Reaves had been shot or how long officers waited outside the residence after arriving in the neighborhood about 7:40 p.m.

SWAT teams were present because of concerns that Reaves was armed, Valdes said.

D.C. police confirmed that Reaves was an officer but released no details on how long he had been with the force or where he worked.

An investigation into his death is pending, Valdes said.


Marijuana Vote to Be Released Today

The D.C. Board of Election and Ethics will release the results of Initiative 59 at 9 a.m. today, almost a year after city voters cast ballots on a referendum on whether to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, Bill O'Field, a spokesman for the board, said yesterday.

Results of the initiative had been kept secret by elections officials after Congress approved an amendment just days before the election that forbade a referendum that would legalize or reduce penalties for marijuana use. The American Civil Liberties Union sued on behalf of organizers of Initiative 59, and on Friday, a federal judge ruled that Congress could not block the release and certification of the election results.

More than 137,000 District voters cast ballots on the initiative during the Nov. 3 general election. The city's computerized election system counted the votes on the night of the election. Even if the measure was approved by voters, it cannot be implemented. In July, the House passed an amendment to the city's spending bill prohibiting the medicinal use of marijuana in the District.

'Execution-Style' Killing in SW Apartment

A 21-year-old man was found slain Wednesday in his apartment in the Washington Highlands section of Southwest Washington, D.C. police said yesterday.

Lawrence Jerome Venson was found by a roommate in their home in the 4400 block of South Capitol Street, according to Cmdr. Winston Robinson Jr., of the 7th Police District. Robinson said there were no signs of forced entry.

According to police records, Venson was found at 1:55 p.m. Wednesday and was pronounced dead at 4:25 p.m. at the D.C. medical examiner's office.

A pillow had been placed over his head and a gun was fired through the pillow, Robinson said, describing the attack as an "execution-style" killing. Jonathan L. Arden, the D.C. chief medical examiner, said an autopsy confirmed that Venson died of gunshot wounds to the head.

Robinson asked anyone with information on the killing to contact 7th District detectives at 202-698-1276 or 202-698-1260.


Rescuers Return From Hurricane Effort

Weary members of the Montgomery County Urban Search and Rescue Team returned home yesterday from the Carolinas after several days of working with rescue operations in the wake of Hurricane Floyd.

Families and colleagues greeted the 69 men and women as they arrived on a bus and truck convoy. The group had helped look for victims and do reconnaissance of flooded areas.

Capt. Jim Resnick, a fire department spokesman, said members will return to their regular duties this week.

Accident-Fire Victim in Fair Condition

The woman who survived a car accident and then a fire that apparently had been started to draw attention from rescuers was listed in fair condition yesterday at Suburban Hospital.

Kandra Edmunds, 19, told Montgomery County fire investigators that the Ford Taurus driven by Brian Milliren, 25, had veered off the Interstate 270 spur early Saturday and crashed into a wooded area just north of Democracy Boulevard. She and Milliren, both of Frederick County, suffered broken legs and were trapped.

After hours of trying to attract help, Milliren set some clothing and brush on fire just outside the car to attract attention, investigators said yesterday. Instead, the flames spread. Edmunds told investigators she was unable to free Milliren from the wreckage before she dragged herself from the Taurus about 6:45 a.m.

Body of Anne Arundel Woman Found

The body of an Anne Arundel County woman was found in a wooded area near her home yesterday, police said.

Mary Pennington, 38, of the 900 block of Point Pleasant Road in Glen Burnie, was found dead around 4 p.m. about two houses away from her home, said Officer Carol Frye, Anne Arundel County police spokeswoman. Pennington had been dead for several hours and was last seen in her neighborhood late Saturday, Frye said. She said a man walking with two children discovered the body, which was about 20 feet from the road.

Investigators are calling the death suspicious but declined to say how Pennington died, Frye said. The body was sent to the medical examiner's office in Baltimore for an autopsy today, she said.

Debit Purchases Unavailable on VRE

Virginia's commuter rail patrons will be unable to use debit cards in ticket vending machines through tomorrow evening, rail officials said yesterday.

Credit card transactions and regular ticket sales are not affected. Repairs were underway yesterday to solve the problem, according to a statement from Virginia Railway Express.

The glitch follows a week when service on the Fredericksburg and Manassas lines was interrupted by Hurricane Floyd.

The latest automatic ticketing problems apparently are not storm-related, officials said. Passengers with questions or problems should call 703-684-1001.


"There is a possibility of slipping into gridlock. . . . It is not exactly the Middle East crisis. We should be able to work this out."

-- D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), on the controversy surrounding the city Redevelopment Land Agency's choice of developers for projects in Columbia Heights.