In a telephone interview, Phillip Donahue, Shana’s father, said that the couple “loved each other” but that his daughter broke up with Fleetwood about two years ago. Then, about a month ago, they got back together, and Fleetwood moved in with his daughter.
“She was a good soul. A good soul. I don’t know what could have caused him to do this,” the father said.
Shana Donahue, 26, was a teacher at Freshfarm FoodPrints, visiting D.C. public schools and teaching students about nutrition, her father said. She also had a presence on YouTube, where she posted videos about natural hairstyles under the names “Napp Queen” and “MercuryVenusMe.” She had more than 21,000 followers.
Early Thursday morning, a neighbor who went to check on Donahue saw her body, according to court documents. Another neighbor called 911 and described hearing a “loud fight” from the apartment the night before.
Officers arrived to find a horrific scene. Donahue’s body was in a fetal position, near a glass table, according to the court papers. Police said in the documents that there were puncture wounds to her neck, stomach, right biceps, right thigh, hip and shoulder blade. Bite marks were found on her right wrist.
There was blood on the door, the walls, a pair of scissors and a knife.
According to the documents, as police were on the scene, Fleetwood walked into the apartment, his clothes covered in blood, and asked to speak to “Shana,” telling police that afterward “everything could be explained.” Fleetwood, 26, told police that he had been in a fight with Donahue the night before and that he left the apartment.
Homicide detectives took Fleetwood to police headquarters, where he agreed to be interviewed, according to the documents, which lay out his account.
Fleetwood told detectives that he and Donahue got into a shouting match and she ordered him to leave the apartment. He said they began pushing each other. Then Fleetwood told the detectives that Donahue stabbed him first with a pair of scissors and that he grabbed the scissors out of her hands and defended himself.
“She tried to get me really angry on purpose and I don’t know why,” Fleetwood said, according to the documents. “It’s like a thing all women have. Yeah, she was trying to get me upset. A man has to die to be truly in love. I never had this done before. I think it’s a devilish type thing. It’s hard to explain. I can see it. When you are in a relationship with a girl, it’s like a psych thing.”
Fleetwood said that the two began stabbing each other and that she stopped. But he continued. “It was like something in me, like the demon in me wanted to kill and once I killed her I came alive,” the documents say he told detectives. Fleetwood also told police he had been drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana before the fight.
On Friday, when Fleetwood’s case was called for an online hearing in D.C. Superior Court, Fleetwood was heard yelling and screaming. Matthew Davies, his public defender, quickly asked Magistrate Judge Heide Herrmann to mute Fleetwood’s microphone.
Davies argued that Fleetwood, who did not have any prior arrests or convictions, had acted in self-defense and should be released from custody. “This was a domestic situation that clearly really got out of hand,” Davies argued. Herrmann ordered that Fleetwood be held in the D.C. jail until his next hearing in July.
Donahue’s supervisor and friend Jennifer Mampara, director of education at Freshfarm, said Donahue had complained to colleagues that Fleetwood had been abusive to her in the past. Donahue had broken off her engagement to Fleetwood some time ago, Mampara said, so colleagues were surprised to hear she allowed him to move into her apartment.
Mampara said Donahue worked at elementary schools in Wards 6, 7 and 8, teaching children how to eat healthy.
“She will be remembered for loving the children she worked with, having incredible deep passion, supporting the community she grew up in and helping people be healthier and stronger,” Mampara said.