The Washington Post

Police rule mens’ August deaths a homicide-suicide

The August deaths of two men found dead in Northwest Washington have been ruled a homicide-suicide, police said Wednesday.

Police responding to the 3600 block of 13th Street NW on Aug. 14 found two men, one who was pronounced dead at the scene. That man was identified as Mesfin Nega, 36, of the District.

The second man, Shimelis Yegazu, 38, of Aurora, Colo., was taken to a hospital, where he died five days later, according to police.

According to the chief medical examiner’s office, both men died of “acute phenobarbital intoxication.” Phenobarbital is a type of sedative that, when abused, can be fatal.

Authorities ruled Nega’s death a homicide and Yegaza’s a suicide, according to police. Further details were not available in the department’s news release.

Nega spent two weeks in a coma after an attack early in the morning of May 7, 2006. The subject of a profile by The Post’s Paul Schwartzman, his sister took on much of his care.

In that profile, Yegazu — spelled “Yegaza” by police — was depicted at the foot of his friend Nega’s hospital bed. He helped organize a fundraiser and a web site to raise money for Nega’s medical fees. That web site is no longer active, though another site in Yegazu’s memory is.

This item has been updated.


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