Josue Jean-Simon was getting ready for work Monday morning when he received a call from D.C. police: Sephar Jean-Simon, his younger brother, had been in a fight and was at George Washington University Hospital. Unclear about what happened, Josue and his mother drove to the hospital, thinking that Sephar was fine.
But when they arrived, Sephar was dead, the victim of multiple stab wounds. Hospital staff tried to persuade his mother not to look at the body, but she insisted on seeing her youngest son.
“I thought he’d be okay,” said Josue, 26. “This is not something that you expect.”
Police said Sephar, 22, was stabbed after a large fight broke out about 2:10 a.m. Monday on the sidewalk outside Midtown Partyplex nightclub in Dupont Circle. During the melee, a police officer was also injured after he was thrown to the ground trying to break up the fight, a department spokesman said.
Police said Monday night that they had not made an arrest in the killing or the assault on the officer.
Luckmann Jean-Simon, Sephar’s father, said his son’s friends told him that the popular college student was out for a birthday celebration and leaving the club when the fight started. Jean-Simon said that when he received news about the incident, he immediately called his son’s cellphone.
“I kept calling,” he said, adding that Sephar, who lived at home, was good about letting his father know where he was. “If you look at his phone, it was hundreds of calls.”
Jean-Simon said Sephar was the youngest of three sons. Both of his parents were born in Haiti, and although he had never been there, he always wanted to visit.
He was living in Silver Spring, working at the University of Maryland in the dining facility and taking classes at the U-Md. University College. His father said he was in his second year at the community college and wanted to be a mechanical engineer.
On Friday, Sephar told his father that he wanted to go into the NBA.
“You’re not going to be disappointed about me,” Jean-Simon said Sephar told him.
Friends who visited the family on Monday remembered the young man’s easy humor and laid-back personality. “He was a good person, a good kid,” older brother Josue said. He added that he and his brother spent time together playing basketball or watching television. Josue said Sephar was always an individual, not one to get caught up in drinking, who displayed a well-cultivated personal style that grew out of a love of shoes.
“He was very comedic, very popular,” Josue said. “Everybody liked him.”
Peter Hermann contributed to this report.