Thought to have been the intended target of a deadly drive-by shooting in February, Terry Allen Jimenez was told by authorities to leave town — and he did, staying with a family member out of state.
Last Monday, they got word that he was back. On Monday, Jimenez, 19, was charged with second-degree murder while armed in connection with the Saturday shooting death of Robert Foster Jr., police said.
Saturday’s back-and-forth shooting took place on Gresham Place NW near Georgia Avenue, where thousands had gathered near Howard University for the annual Caribbean Festival parade.
Police say Foster, 43, of Northwest Washington, was an innocent bystander in the shooting that also put Jimenez — and two others, whose injuries were not considered life-threatening — in the hospital.
At a news conference Monday, D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier called the shooting an outbreak of gang violence. “This is why we go so aggressively after gangs,” Lanier said. “They are reckless with their violence.”
According to court documents, Jimenez is a member of a neighborhood gang known as the Hobart Stars, which enforcement sources said has operated in the area for decades and has been known to engage in marijuana dealing.
Their conflict with another gang, CTU (Clifton Terrace University), led to last weekend’s shooting, court papers said.
Jimenez and two companions arrived at the 700 block of Gresham Place about 5 p.m. Saturday, according to court documents, and approached a group of three people. Using a vehicle for cover, court papers say, Jimenez fired a pistol at the three, who shot back as they fled.
Many people were trapped in the crossfire, according to court documents — among them Foster, a woman who was shot in the back and a man who was shot in the leg and stomach.
Jimenez also was shot and was sent to George Washington Hospital, where police questioned him, according to court documents. He told police that a rival shot first, and that he fired in self-defense, but video footage suggested that Jimenez fired the first shot, court papers said.
Law enforcement officials and community leaders were aware of Jimenez before Saturday. He was on probation for a charge of receiving stolen goods in February when a drive-by shooting took the life of Lucki Nancy Pannell, 17. Thought to be the intended target, Jimenez was taken out of the District to “save his life,” said Leonard Sipes, a spokesman for the District’s Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency .
When CSOSA officials heard of February’s shooting, Sipes said, they contacted Superior Court, law enforcement agencies and Jimenez’s family to try to get him out of the city. An out-of-state family member offered to house him.
In March, a case involving an arrest for distributing cocaine was dismissed, Sipes said.
CSOSA called Jimenez twice a month, in addition to e-mailing the family member, Sipes said. But Jimenez went missing earlier this month — until a community leader told CSOSA that he was in town, Sipes said.
After learning that Jimenez was in the District, the agency tried to contact family members here and elsewhere, as well as law enforcement agencies, Sipes said. But the agency couldn’t find him, he said.
D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) said he was concerned by authorities’ inability to track Jimenez. “While we had the power to send him there, we had no power to track his movements,” Graham said. “There are some unanswered questions here, I think.”
Police said Jimenez was from Buffalo, but law enforcement sources said he grew up in Northwest. Often going by “Turk” in his neighborhood, one source said, he was known as a good basketball player and good student at a Northeast charter school but had a reputation for a smart mouth.
Jimenez has a preliminary hearing scheduled July 18.
Staff writer Clarence Williams and news researcher/librarian Magda Jean-Louis contributed to this report.