The Washington Post

Two men found fatally shot in Takoma Park neighborhood Sunday

Two men were found fatally shot in the driveway of a Takoma Park house early Sunday in what police said they think was a murder-suicide.

Takoma Park police were called to the 7300 block of Flower Avenue at about 1:45 a.m. after neighbors reported hearing two gunshots minutes earlier. Police said they found David Draa, 30, of Takoma Park, and Steven Kyle Hickman, 30, of the District, both dead from gunshot wounds.

Takoma Park police officials said Sunday that “all initial information leads to the belief that this was a homicide-suicide.” Police Chief Alan Goldberg said detectives are fairly certain which of the two men fired the shots, but they wanted to see the results of autopsies set for Monday before releasing those details.

Police think the two men were friends. “There was no indication of hostility prior to the shooting,” police officials said in a statement.

Draa taught at High Road Primary & Middle School in the District, which serves special-needs students. According to the school’s Web site, he was named staff member of the month in December 2012. The Web site said he had previously served as a Marine and as a police officer in San Diego.

“Mr. Draa is an amazing teacher,” the Web site said. “He is very patient and kind to all he encounters. . . . Mr. Draa is able to help deescalate a student that is in extreme crisis to the point that they even forgot why they were mad in the first place.”

A couple of blocks down from Washington Adventist Hospital, the house on Flower Avenue sits among single-family homes that have large porches, porch swings and spring-themed flags. The house sits on a narrow street just behind Sligo Creek Park. Authorities told residents in the quiet neighborhood that they think the shooting was an isolated incident.

Neighbors said the two-story house where the shooting took place was unlike the majority of the other homes on the block because the owner divided the house into individual apartments about a year ago after a renovation.

“This is a very quiet neighborhood where everybody here basically knows everyone else or at least knows them to see them when they’re walking their dogs,” said Joan Samworth, who lives on the block. “Truth is, violence is everywhere, it seems, today.”

Police had removed the yellow tape from outside the house by early Sunday afternoon, and neighbors visited the house to pay their respects. One woman who lives at the house declined to comment as she went out to walk her two dogs.

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.
Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of The Yoga Store Murder.


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