Ten violent hours, nine illegal guns seized.
Hundreds of police officers flooded the District’s streets Aug. 28 in an “all hands on deck” effort meant to blunt a surge in violence. And yet, despite the show of force, 10 people were shot that night. Two of them died, pushing this year’s homicide count to 105 — equal to the total for all of last year.
Between 4 that afternoon and a little after 2 the next morning, as reports of shots fired popped up around the city, police continued an effort to capture some of the District’s illegal weapons. By morning, officers had confiscated nine unregistered handguns and charged nine people, most of whom have criminal records.
There is no indication that any of those firearms were involved in the shootings that night, but police say they represent what’s driving the spike in killings — deadly weapons in the hands of violent people.
By the end of that weekend, police had seized 34 guns. They have picked up many more since — including 18 in one night.
“It’s like they are freaking dropping out of the sky,” D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said in an interview.
Most were semiautomatics; several had high-capacity magazines, devices that are fueling the summer bloodshed, she said.
Among those arrested last weekend were several with previous gun-related convictions.
“There is a small number of repeat violent gun offenders who commit violent crime after violent crime after violent crime, and they are not spending any time in jail,” Lanier said.
9 illegal guns recovered last night-9 arrests made+2 ext mags-Got a tip on an illegal gun? Give us a call-2027279099 Up to $2500 rewards.— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) August 29, 2015
Below, based on police and court documents, are the circumstances surrounding the nine guns seized on one of the most violent nights in the nation’s capital this year. Efforts to obtain comment from the family or attorneys of those charged were unsuccessful.
4:21 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, Eighth and H streets NE
The call: A woman dialed 911 to report that a young man had pointed a gun in her face and at other pedestrians. When officers arrived, several bystanders pointed out a man in dark jeans, a black Sox cap and gold sneakers walking along H Street. The suspect ran and eventually lost pursing officers in an alley off G Street. A short time later, they observed a man walking from the alley, shirtless and capless but wearing dark jeans and gold sneakers. A search of the alley uncovered the Sox cap and a handgun, with one round in the chamber and nine others scattered on the street near the detached magazine, all along the path taken by the fleeing suspect. The weapon was swabbed in an effort to obtain a DNA match.
The gun: Hi-Point CF-380 semiautomatic handgun.
The suspect: Frederick N. Stevenson, 24, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and carrying a pistol without a license. Stevenson is also facing trial on an armed robbery charge from last December and has been convicted of carjacking (2012) and fleeing police (2008).
6:38 p.m., Friday, 1102 Staples St. NE
The call: A task force from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives received a tip from an informant that a man had an illegal firearm. Working with a Prince George’s County detective, ATF officers conducted surveillance at the intersection of Florida Avenue and Staples Street NE. They arrested the man and found a loaded handgun in a black-and-pink duffel bag.
The gun: Taurus PT111 Pro 9mm semiautomatic handgun, loaded with 12 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
The suspect: Bryant Strait, 26, was charged with carrying a pistol and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He had been convicted of reckless driving and fleeing a police officer (2010) and assault on a police officer and multiple stolen vehicle counts (2008).
7:02 p.m. Friday, 1500 block of Arkansas Avenue NW
The call: Responding to reports of a shooting, two officers on mountain bikes saw a man riding a bicycle on Arkansas Avenue who one of the officers said he “knew to be a robber.” After police spoke to the man, he peddled quickly away and then attempted to flee into a house in the 5400 block. The officers pursued and saw the man toss a purple book bag to an individual inside, who tried to slam the door on an officer’s foot. The officer was able to grab the bag and immediately felt a handgun-like object inside.
The gun: Beretta 86 9mm, loaded with an unknown number of .380 rounds.
The suspect: Julian Wright, 20, of 14th Street NW, the man on the bicycle, was charged with carrying a pistol without a license. The second man was charged with tampering with evidence, but the charge was dropped for lack of probable cause.
7:15 p.m. Friday, 1320 Congress St. SE
The call: Officers knocked on a home’s unlocked door and yelled that they had a search warrant. When no one answered, police walked in and found the house empty. In a bedroom, they found mail connected to the suspect and, hidden under a mattress, a handgun. Soon after, the suspect returned to the house and was arrested.
The gun: Taurus .38 Special revolver.
The suspect: Delontae L. Shaw, 24, was charged with possession of an unregistered firearm. In May, he had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit third-degree burglary, and he has twice been convicted of attempted robbery (2010 and 2009).
10 p.m., Friday, 2500 Elvans Rd. SE
The call: Two uniformed officers approached a set of steps along Elvans Road and saw a group of people standing at the top holding white cups. Smelling alcohol, one officer shined a light on the group, and the other noticed the imprint of a small handgun in one man’s front right jean pocket. The two officers immediately attempted to handcuff the man, who fought back. The three tumbled down the steps and into the dirt. As reinforcements arrived, one of the officers let go of the suspect and fell 15 feet to a parking lot below. Two of the officers spotted the man toss something under a van, where police found a handgun.
The gun: Charter Arms .38 Special Undercover revolver.
The suspect: Enjoli J. Gaffney, 36, was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. He has been convicted of the unlawful transport of firearms (2002), attempted distribution of cocaine (2000), attempted distribution of heroin (1999) and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine (1997).
1:14 a.m., Saturday, 4500 block of Quarles Street NE
The call: Two officers pulled their unmarked police cruiser into an alley and spotted five to six men standing at the entrance to a courtyard. The officers stopped their car about 10 feet from the group as one man began to walk away. Another officer in a separate cruiser spotted the man and noticed that he was adjusting the left side of his waistband. When the two original officers got out of their vehicle, the suspect looked back at them and sprinted off. Both officers saw that, as he ran, the suspect’s right arm was swinging freely and his left clutched his waistband. As the suspect exited the courtyard, four other officers cut him off. He tried to dart through a yard. Ordered to stop, he turned around and raised his hands, revealing a silver handgun in his waistband. Police arrested him and seized the pistol.
The gun: Taurus PT-92 9mm semiautomatic handgun.
The suspect: Shellyn “Sheldon” Robinson, 24, was charged with carrying a pistol without a license.
1:20 a.m., Saturday, New York Avenue and North Capitol Street
The call: A plainclothes officer on New York Avenue saw a young man take something from his waistband and hide it in bushes when a marked police cruiser drove by. When the cruiser passed, the officer saw the man retrieve the object, which he recognized as a black handgun, and put it back in his waistband. Backup officers stopped the man nearby in the unit block of Hanover Place. Searching the immediate area, officers found a black pistol on the front tire of white minivan. It was not loaded.
The gun: Hi-Point CF-380 semiautomatic handgun.
The suspect: Dominique Johnson, 22, was charged with carrying a pistol without a license. Johnson was convicted of felony burglary in 2011.
2:10 a.m., Saturday, 2240 Savannah Terr. SE
The call: While on patrol, officers noticed a group of people in front of an apartment building. The police saw a man in a black T-shirt look in their direction and make a grabbing motion toward his waistband. That man, a woman and another man attempted to go inside the building. Police grabbed the man in the black T-shirt, and one of the officers noticed a hard object protruding from his waistband. The officer believed it could be an extended magazine for a handgun and the man was placed in handcuffs. While patting him down, the officers discovered a handgun and arrested him. Officers also pursued the other man inside the building to the top of the stairs. The officers heard a metal object being dropped on the top-floor landing and subsequently discovered a handgun on the floor.
The guns: Ruger 9mm model P94, loaded with 34 rounds in an extended magazine. Taurus PT- 24/7 .45-caliber handgun, loaded with 10 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber.
The suspects: Samuel Greene, 28, and Ikeith Donte Oakes, 23, were charged with carrying a pistol without a license outside of a business or home. Oakes was convicted of threats to do bodily harm, burglary and theft in 2008.
Peter Hermann, Jennifer Jenkins and Julie Tate contributed to this report.