D.C. police are investigating three unrelated homicides that occurred Friday night and early Saturday, bringing the total number of killings in the city to 114 in 2015.
The first occurred in the 1800 block of Harvard Street in Northwest Washington about 7:45 p.m. Friday, police said. Officers were dispatched after a report of a shooting and found a man with a gunshot wound.
Charles Antonio Welch, 25, of Fort Washington, Md., was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Within the next nine hours, two more men were fatally shot.
The killings came amid a spike in violence in recent weeks that has troubled D.C. residents and elected officials alike. The number of homicides in the District this year surpassed last year’s total of 105 in late August.
Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) launched a $15 million “Safer, Stronger D.C.” program in August to try to curb the violence, which authorities say has been fueled partly by petty disputes, more illegal guns on the streets and crimes committed by repeat offenders.
As of Saturday evening, police had not made an arrest in Welch’s killing. They said they were looking for a black man between 30 and 40 years old who wore a white shirt and blue shorts. He was reported to have carried a black handgun.
Welch’s family could not be reached for comment.
The weekend’s second fatal shooting occurred in the 3200 block of 28th Street SE shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday, police said. Officers heard gunshots and, while investigating, found a man with a bullet wound. Marcellus Green, 39, of Southeast was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police said Maricco Knight of Southeast and Steven Pugh of Southwest, who are both 22, were arrested in Green’s killing and charged with first-degree murder while armed. Police did not comment on a motive but said the suspects were apprehended about 1:30 a.m. Saturday after a brief car chase.
Green’s family could not be reached for comment.
The third shooting occurred about 4:05 a.m. in the 2400 block of Elvans Road in Southeast, police said. Officers responded to a report of a man in distress on the street and found another gunshot victim. Deontray Ingram, 22, of Southeast was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ingram’s grandmother Dianne Ingram said the family was perplexed by the killing because her grandson was not involved in drugs and was chatting with friends when he was shot. She said he leaves behind a 3-year-old son and a 10-month-old daughter. He loved cooking and had dreams of being a chef, she said.
“If you wanted something, there was nothing he wouldn’t do to get it for you,” Dianne Ingram said of her grandson. “And he would do it with a smile.”