D.C. police have arrested two teenagers in the killing of a 16-year-old high school honor-roll student who was stabbed outside the NoMa-Gallaudet Metro station while trying to protect a friend who was being attacked, authorities said Wednesday.

The suspects were identified as Demonte Hewitt, 16, of Northeast Washington and his cousin Kurt Hewitt, 18, of Southeast. Each was charged with second-degree murder in the May 1 killing. Demonte Hewitt was charged as an adult.

The slain teen, Tyshon Perry, had stepped into a fight sparked by an incident that occurred that morning at his school, KIPP DC College Preparatory charter high school in Northeast, according to court papers.

According to the documents, one of Perry’s friends got into an argument with a girl during first period. Teachers broke up the pair, according to the documents, but the tension continued as the girl reached out to friends in the neighborhood.

One witness told police the girl said that “she was going to get her hood boys and bring them to the school to fight.” The documents do not say why the two were arguing.

The boy, worried for his safety, thought about taking a different route than usual to the Metro station after school and walked with friends, including Perry, according to the documents. Near the station, in the 1300 block of 2nd Street NE, police said, one of the suspects confronted the boy and lifted his shirt to reveal a gun.

Police said a group of five people then jumped the boy and started beating him in the body and head. Perry and others jumped in, police said, to help their friend. Police said the boy who was targeted broke free and pulled off a shirt that was covering one assailant’s face. Then the five attackers fled.

It was then the students saw Perry sprawled on the pavement, bleeding from the chest. Court documents said he was stabbed in the left shoulder, right thigh and the left side of his chest. That wound proved fatal, police said.

Perry’s father, Shonpaul Perry, reacted with mixed feelings to the police announcement, calling the arrests “a step in the right direction for our grieving process.”

“It’s helpful,” he said. “But nothing can replace my son’s life. I would rather have him here.”

A D.C. Superior Court judge on Wednesday ordered Demonte Hewitt and Kurt Hewitt detained until a preliminary hearing June 1. Both had been in the D.C. jail when they where charged with murder — Kurt Hewitt on a kidnapping charge, Demonte Hewitt on a burglary charge.

Defense attorneys argued in court Wednesday that there was no evidence that either teen had a knife or was involved in the stabbing. Tyshon Perry’s family sat in the back row.

“There is no indication as to when the victim was stabbed or by whom,” argued James Williams, Kurt Hewitt’s court-appointed attorney. “It is plausible that one of the decedent’s friends could have stabbed him.”

James King, Demonte Hewitt’s attorney with the Public Defender Service, said there was evidence only of a “high school fight” between students from different neighborhoods. “There is no indication that my client was involved in a stabbing,” he said.

But Magistrate Judge Errol R. Arthur, citing the witness accounts, security video of the incident and Kurt Hewitt’s Instagram posts regarding the fight, said he found enough evidence to order both teens to remain in the D.C. jail until their next hearing on June 1.

The KIPP school system said in a statement Wednesday that “we are beginning to heal as a community” and noted that extra police and private security continue to secure the route between the school and the Metro station.

Perry is one of six youths ages 14 to 17 killed in the District this year. There have been 58 homicides in the District this year, a 45 percent increase over the same period last year.

Faculty at KIPP have recalled Perry as a student who excelled in math, played intramural football and made friends in different cliques. From an early age, his parents said, he talked about a career in the criminal justice field, and in recent years he was focused on federal law enforcement.

“He wanted to be the first black director of the FBI,” his mother, Gina Nixon-Perry, said in an interview this month.

A few days before Perry’s May 12 funeral, the father said, three FBI agents visited the family’s home in Deanwood. The bureau had posthumously designated Perry an honorary special agent, and the visitors delivered his badge and credentials, along with a letter of condolence from FBI Director Christopher A. Wray.

“He understood what Tyshon’s hopes and ambitions were and that he certainly would have made a good agent,” Shonpaul Perry said of Wray.

“I hope they get everyone involved in my son’s murder,” the father added. “Everyone that took part, that had some association, affiliation with it — any connection to it — I want them all brought to justice. I want them convicted and put in jail.”

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