The Washington Post

Man happily texted, Tweeted on night he was fatally stabbed, family members say

By family members’ account, Henri Pratt spent Saturday night as any 26-year-old man might — cruising around Prince George’s County on a party bus with friends.

Henri Pratt (Courtesy Nyree Belle/family photo)

Pratt III said he found out later that others on the bus were not so lighthearted. One of his son’s friends, he said, bumped into someone else, and an altercation ensued. A short while later, he said, his son was fatally stabbed, and a 24-year-old friend of his was stabbed and seriously wounded.

“He wasn’t even a part of whatever that was going on. He was just there,” Henry Pratt III said. “This is senseless killing, man, and I hope that the police get these guys.”

Police have not made any arrests in the case, though they have said investigators believe the stabbing in the 7100 block of Hastings Drive in Capitol Heights stemmed from a fight at a party early Sunday morning. Henry Pratt III and other family members have been talking to reporters since the killing, hoping that speaking out about Henri Pratt will encourage witnesses to come forward.

“If anybody knows, just step out and say something,” Henry Pratt III said. “He’s a good kid. He’s a good young man.”

Henri Pratt worked as a security guard for an independent contractor and had a three-year-old daughter, family members and friends said. He lived with his father in Clinton, was a Dallas Cowboys fan and enjoyed going out with friends, family members and friends said.

“He just enjoyed his life,” said Nyree Belle, 26, the mother of Henri Pratt’s daughter. “He’s not a hostile person.”

Belle said she was out at another party Saturday night when someone called to tell her that her child’s father had been stabbed. She said she rushed to the hospital, praying that the wounds were not serious. She said doctors told her later he had lost too much blood to survive.

“I would just like some closure on this whole situation because it’s not fair,” she said. “I just know he’s no longer here with his daughter and nothing’s going to bring him back.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Prince George’s County police department’s homicide unit at (301) 772-4925.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.


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