A 22-year-old man was arrested Tuesday on charges that he burglarized the home of a popular Howard University student about one month before the student was fatally shot, D.C. police said.
The apparently unrelated incidents suggest that, in the last weeks of his life, Omar Adam Sykes was the victim of a two-incident crime spree.
On June 1, a burglar cleaned out Sykes’s Northwest Washington apartment, just weeks after the business marketing major finished his junior year at Howard. On July 4, a shooting during an apparent street robbery attempt ended his life.
Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) announced the burglary arrest Wednesday night during a memorial service for Sykes.
Officers from the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Kevin R. Hatton on Tuesday and charged him with burglary and robbery fear. He was held without bond, according to court records. A preliminary hearing on the charges is scheduled for Friday.
Sykes appears to have tried to raise money online after the burglary to replace his stolen laptop computer and camera, seeking donations through the crowd-funding Web site www.gofundme.com.
His goal was to raise $2,600 by his birthday, June 30. But he appears to have received only three donations, worth a total of $180, by the time of his death.
On the Web site, Sykes promised to reward donors who gave $100 or more to his effort by giving them a piece of artwork he had created. He wrote that he specialized in photography and graphic design.
“So think of this as supporting a starving artist get his paint back,” he wrote.
Sykes was killed nearly five weeks after his apartment was burglarized, as he walked with another student near Georgia Avenue and Fairmont Street NW about 11:30 p.m.
Two assailants accosted the men, fatally shooting Sykes and beating his friend, police said. No one has been arrested in the slaying, and there has been no indication that it and the burglary were connected.
Stefanie Dazio contributed to this report.