A member of the uniformed division of the Secret Service who was on leave from the agency was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon in Southwest Washington in what police say was a robbery or attempted robbery.
Arthur E. Baldwin, 30, of Upper Marlboro, Md., was shot several times at about 2:50 p.m. and was found by police lying in grass in the 4700 block of First Street SW, along the border of Bellevue and Washington Highlands. He was pronounced dead at a hospital at 3:23 p.m.
D.C. Police Cmdr. Robert Alder, head of the criminal investigation division, said detectives do not think the shooting is related to the victim’s job with the Secret Service’s Foreign Mission Branch or to a domestic incident in April that led to criminal charges being filed against Baldwin. The charges were pending at the time of his death and led to his suspension from his job.
Alder said at a news conference that police are looking at robbery as the motive for the shooting and are looking at other holdups in the area to see if any are connected. He said police think some personal items belonging to Baldwin were taken, but he said detectives had not determined exactly what is missing. Baldwin’s gray vehicle was found close to where he had been shot.
Assistant D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said any homicide “is a tragedy,” but he noted that Baldwin was killed “in broad daylight.” Baldwin was the District’s 155th homicide victim this year, up from 97 at this time in 2014, a near 60 percent increase. He was shot in an area off I-295 where seven other people have been killed this year, up from three last year.
The Secret Service declined to comment on Baldwin except to say through a spokeswoman: “We are aware he was killed. We express our condolences to his family.”
Baldwin’s relatives could not be reached.
Baldwin was charged in April with first-degree burglary and destruction of property after D.C. police said he tried to kick in the front door of his former girlfriend’s apartment in the 3200 block of D Street SE. Police said at the time they found dents, broken hinges and a boot print in the front door, and two apartment windows shattered.
A police report says the woman was found crying and shaking and “appeared to be in fear of her life.” She told police that her ex-boyfriend would not “leave her alone” but she did not want to see him go to jail. Authorities said Baldwin had left the apartment before police arrived.
Minutes later, police said Baldwin, in his Secret Service uniform, returned to the apartment. A D.C. police officer confiscated his weapon — a loaded Sig Sauer 229 — from the officer’s car. Court documents say Baldwin admitted to kicking the door but denied breaking the windows. Prosecutors in October dropped the felony burglary charge and left standing the destruction case, a misdemeanor.
A Secret Service spokesman said in April that Baldwin, assigned to the Foreign Mission Branch, had been placed on administrative leave and that his security clearance was suspended.
The attorney for Baldwin in his criminal case did not respond to a request for comment.
Court documents show that Baldwin has been with the Secret Service for eight years. Court files also show that before joining the agency, he had a string of civil suits filed against him from creditors. A report from court officials compiled in connection with the latest domestic case shows that he is married with three children.
Baldwin was last in D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday morning, a few hours before he was killed. During that hearing, a judge scheduled a trial on the destruction of property charge for Feb. 29.
Magda Jean-Louis contributed to this report.