A man and woman were found shot to death in the basement of a Columbia Heights rowhouse, D.C. police said Tuesday.
The authorities identified the victims as Oluremi K. Thomas, 36, of Northwest Washington and Keyonna Proctor, 24, of Southeast Washington. A cousin of one of the victims found the bodies about 11 p.m. Monday, police said, adding that Thomas was discovered dead in a bed and Proctor was face down on the floor.
Few other details were made public about the double-
shooting inside the efficiency apartment on Girard Street NW, just off Georgia Avenue near Howard University. A relative of Thomas, reached by phone in Brooklyn, said family members had just found out about the deaths.
“We are very devastated at the moment,” said the woman, who declined to give her name. “We’re dealing with our loss at the moment.”
The owner of the home is a 44-year-old man who coaches a youth soccer league. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Students who attend Howard live next door to the rowhouse where Thomas and Proctor were found, according to the students’ landlord.
It was unclear what the victims were doing at the three-
story rowhouse. District police declined to comment on specifics of the investigation, but D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), who represents the neighborhood, said the victims did not live at the house, citing different addresses provided by police. Court records for Thomas show an address on Decatur Street NW, two miles from Girard Street.
Graham also said the killings were not random and did not involve people who lived on that street.
He said his conversation with police suggest that it was an intentional killing linked to drugs and that it is possible the victims had been lured there.
“It’s very upsetting that two people were shot in the head,” Graham said. “It appears that neither of them lived in that house. This all raises more questions than there are answers.”
District police declined to discuss a possible motive or confirm Graham’s statement that they suspect the killing was drug-related. But a police official did say that drug paraphernalia was found in the apartment, and court records show that Thomas was arrested outside the house on Girard Street in November and charged with possession of 24 grams of marijuana.
Police said he was sitting in a minivan parked in an alley next to the house when confronted by plainclothes officers. The drugs were in Thomas’s shirt pocket, police said.
He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug possession, and sentencing was delayed until June 2. At that time, he could have had his conviction expunged had he met the conditions of release.
Residents who live along Girard Street described the house where the people were found slain as a sore-spot, with frequent visitors. “I have to say what happened is tragic, but not surprising,” said one man who moved to the street six months ago and didn’t want his name used because of the possible motive in the shootings.
Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.