The DeOnté Rawlings Shooting

On the evening of Sept. 17, 2007, James Haskel drove his gold Chevrolet Tahoe through the streets of Southeast Washington in search of his stolen minibike. His neighbor, Anthony Clay, went along for the ride. Both off-duty D.C. police officers were armed, but not in uniform, when they confronted a boy riding the bike in an alley not far from Haskel's home. Click the panoramic tabs below to explore the scene of the shooting that unfolded next, or skip to the full timeline.

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By Kat Downs, Alexandra Garcia and Amanda Zamora
Sept. 17, 2007

'This Little Boy Just Got Shot in the Head'

Listen to audio excerpts of the 911 calls placed after the shooting.
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7:35 p.m.: Officers James Haskel and Anthony Clay drive around looking for Haskel's minibike and spot a boy on it in the alley behind the 600 block of Atlantic Street SE. Haskel orders the boy to drop it.

7:36 p.m.:According to Haskel's account, a boy, later identified as DeOnté Rawlings, shoots at him and he returns fire, hitting the 14-year-old once in the back of the head. Haskel is not injured.

7:37 p.m.: Haskel calls on the 7th Police District station channel for assistance, saying "suspect down, suspect down, officer-involved shooting."


'Suspect Down'

Listen to audio excerpts of D.C. police radio dispatches about the shooting.
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7:38 p.m.: Haskel reports a "hostile crowd" and asks for a patrol car to pick him up.

7:39 p.m.: Officer Anthony Fucci reports that he has Haskel in his patrol car and takes him to his mother's home nearby. Seven seconds later, an officer reports that "one male appears to have a gunshot wound to the head. He is unconscious and not breathing at this time."

10:09 p.m.: Police question Haskel about the shooting for 13 minutes at the 7th District station.

10:14 p.m.: Rawlings is pronounced dead at Children's National Medical Center. Haskel and Clay are put on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

Sept. 18, 2007
A preliminary investigative report on the shooting is conducted. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty holds a news conference to discuss the Rawlings shooting. It's one of four news conferences in five days.

Sept. 21, 2007
Fenty holds a news conference to announce that the FBI will join the investigation. Related Photo: Two days after the shooting, D.C. Police Inspector Matthew Klein, left, and Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney, joined Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and Fenty to discuss the probe, which the mayor promised would be thorough and open. Photo by Nikki Kahn - The Washington Post
Oct. 15, 2007
Clifton Coleman, 18, is arrested for shooting his girlfriend. He tells police for the first time that he was at the scene when Rawlings was shot and that the boy had a gun.

Oct. 23, 2007
Rawlings's family files a $100-million lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the District, Haskel and Clay. Related Photo: A make-shift memorial for Rawlings was set up in the Highland Dwellings housing complex shortly after the shooting. Photo by Kevin Clark - The Washington Post

May 1, 2008
The U.S. attorney's office and the FBI end their seven-month investigation, announcing that the shooting of the teen was justified.

May 3, 2008
Chief Lanier sends a department-wide e-mail welcoming the two officers back before the completion of an internal investigation.

Sept. 4, 2008
D.C. police complete an administrative investigation, finding that Haskel didn't violate the department's deadly force rules or other policies.

Sept. 17, 2008
D.C. government officials seal findings in the shooting, citing grand jury secrecy rules and FBI interviews.


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