Video from a bystander showed angry youths, apparently the victim’s friends, running toward the exits as Metro police officers rushed the opposite way. Three Metro employees gave aid to the victim, who had stumbled out of the train and toward the fare gates and was seen by a witness lying on the ground and bleeding from his neck. Police said he was unconscious after the attack.
The stabbing, apparently in a dispute, occurred as D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and Police Chief Peter Newsham were at Howard University announcing a fall crime initiative to combat violence that has claimed at least five lives since Wednesday afternoon, including a man with special needs, a groundskeeper on his lunch break and a teenager on the front steps of an apartment building.
Newsham sped to the Metro station from the news event; Bowser followed a short time later, skipping a rally to honor the Washington Mystics for winning their first WNBA championship. Instead of joining a celebration, she stood somber at yet another crime scene involving a child.
Bowser had just finished telling reporters at Howard University that the focus of the crime plan that begins Monday should be on saving youths.
“One disturbing trend we have witnessed this year is that too many of our teenagers are becoming victims of violent crime,” she said.
The stabbing led authorities to shut the Capitol South station for hours on Friday, forcing Orange, Blue and Silver line trains to bypass the stop and commuters to use Eastern Market or Federal Center SW as alternate stations. The station reopened shortly before 6 p.m.
Authorities did not immediately know what schools the youths attended, though school was not in session in the District on Friday. Newsham said investigators are combing through Metro surveillance video. “We should have a real clear picture of what happened,” the chief said.
Newsham described himself as frustrated by the recent violence, which claimed yet another life Friday afternoon when Jonathan Jones, 30, of Cheltenham, Md., died of his injuries after a shooting in Anacostia. That pushed the District’s homicide count to 135, a 7 percent increase over 2018. There have been nine children between the ages of 11 and 17 killed in the District this year.
Residents in several areas of the city have been shaken by bursts of gunfire in recent days. Early Friday, two 19-year-old Howard University students and a younger teen were wounded just off campus in what appeared to be a drive-by shooting.
Last week, the Bowser administration authorized increased overtime to police and detectives to target violent crime. On Friday, officials said they would duplicate the Summer Crime Prevention Initiative through mid-December.
The city will add extra police officers and step up other services, such as substance abuse and jobs programs, in six areas of the city where crime is most acute, including Shaw, Columbia Heights, Greenway and Congress Heights.
The areas are chosen based on crime statistics, but also on input from police commanders and data from ShotSpotter, devices that alert to gunshots being fired. In essence, police are heading to areas where bullets are fired most often.
D.C. police have for the past decade focused on at least five geographic areas for the annual Summer Crime Prevention Initiative. This year, Newsham said homicides dropped 44 percent in targeted communities, along with significant reductions in shootings and other types of crime.
The latest spate of violence began Wednesday afternoon when 15-year-old Thomas Johnson was fatally shot in what police described as a targeted attack in a community near Nationals Park.
Later that night, Devon Miler, 24, who has special needs, and his caregiver, Lekelefac Fonge, 27, were fatally shot inside Miler’s home in Kingman Park. Police said they are seeking Davon Peyton, 27, of Alexandria, who is charged in a warrant with first-degree murder.
Miler lived with his grandmother and Newsham said someone in the house let the shooter inside before an apparent robbery attempt. “We assume there was some relation between that suspect and somebody inside the house,” Newsham said Friday, adding that there are “two young people who have no business being dead right now.”
On Thursday afternoon, a groundskeeper who had recently started working for the D.C. Housing Authority was fatally shot after police said he was robbed while eating lunch in his vehicle outside the Potomac Gardens apartment complex near Capitol Hill.
Police said Marcus Williams, 36, tried to escape the robbery attempt by running from the car but was shot in the chest in a parking lot. No arrest had been made as of Friday evening. Newsham said Williams was working at Potomac Gardens the day he was killed.
In a statement, the Housing Authority said Williams had worked for a private contractor that managed Potomac Gardens but had recently been absorbed into the department’s property management division. He officially started working under the Housing Authority on Oct. 1.