The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Three men plead not guilty in death of American University graduate last summer

Matthew Shlonsky

Three District men pleaded not guilty Wednesday in the Aug. 15 shooting death of an American University alumnus near the Shaw-Howard University Metro station.

Marcus King, 20, of Northwest Washington, Andrew Dudley, 20, of Northeast Washington, and Christopher Proctor, 26, of Northwest Washington, were charged with more than 60 counts in the death of Cleveland native Matthew Shlonsky, a financial analyst and a 2014 American graduate.

Authorities say that Shlonsky had emerged from an Uber ride in the afternoon near the bustling Seventh and S streets NW when he was caught in the crossfire between the men.

The three were charged with second-degree murder while armed, assault with a dangerous weapon, and charges involving injuries to two other adults and three children during the crime spree, which also included the theft of a vehicle that police say was used in the Shlonsky shooting.

Details of the fatal shooting from lead homicide detective on the case

King, who was the first arrested in the shooting days later, told police that he fired a .40-caliber gun at three men in a Chrysler. But he said he did so only after they opened fire on him from the car’s sunroof as he was walking. Police said 18 shell casings were scattered on the sidewalk and grass. According to testimony at a previous hearing, King told detectives that the shooting began after the men pulled up next to King and asked him why he was looking inside the car. King told authorities that each of the trio had a gun and that as the car pulled away the men shot at him. He told detectives he then ran into the middle of Seventh Street and returned fire at the speeding Chrysler.

Authorities are also considering that the men inside the Chrysler did not fire an actual shotgun. When police found the Chrysler, they found a CO2 cartridge often used in air guns inside.

At the hearing in D.C. Superior Court, the three men, wearing orange D.C. jail jumpsuits, stood next to their attorneys. Dozens of family members of the men filled the courtroom. A trial date was scheduled for Jan. 17. Attorneys for the men have indicated they may request that their cases be tried separately, a decision that Judge Robert E. Morin, who is overseeing the trial, would have to make.

Separately, Dudley is also charged in a home burglary that occurred three days before the shooting in the 4200 block of Argyle Terrace NW.