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Mayor Adrian Fenty called it “one of our deadliest shootings ever.” The barrage of bullets unloaded in Washington Highlands on March 30 killed four and wounded six. Last week, prosecutors released their most detailed account yet of how they believe it all went down, based on details provided by plea-bargaining suspect Nathaniel Simms, aka “Nate,” 23. Suspects Orlando Carter, aka “Lando,” 20; Sanquan Carter, aka “Bootsie,” 19; Jeffrey Best, aka “Dro,” 21; Lamar Williams, aka “Neph,” 22; and Robert Bost, aka “Little Rob,” 22; have all pleaded not guilty and will have their chance to rebut the allegations in court. Herewith, the prosecution’s alleged chronology of the carnage, as filed in Simms’ case:
After having sex with a 15-year-old girl in the 1300 block of Alabama Avenue SE, Bootsie discovered that the gold bracelet he’d removed from his wrist was missing. He notified his older brother, Lando, who solicited the help of Nate and Dro.
Dro joined Lando and Nate in a silver 2008 Kia Spectra EX with Maryland tags. At a nearby location, Lando obtained an AK-47 assault rifle. They drove to the residence of cohort Neph, where he provided them with a .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol and a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun.
Lando spoke about his plan to retaliate against individuals believed to be responsible for taking his younger brother’s bracelet. Lando called Bootsie. With Nate in front and Dro in back, Lando drove the silver Kia over to the 1300 block of Alabama Avenue SE, where a number of individuals were gathered outside.
Bootsie walked over to the car and spoke with the crew about who they believed was responsible. Bootsie gestured in the direction of the people gathered outside. Bootsie snatched the .380 caliber from Nate’s lap and walked toward the crowd. Lando got out armed with the AK-47 and followed. So did Dro with the shotgun. Nate got into the driver’s seat and turned the car around, so they could have a more efficient escape route. Bootsie began shooting in the direction of the crowd, firing five rounds. Lando also began shooting, firing 28 cartridges. Dro tried to shoot the pump-action shotgun, but instead ejected three unfired shells. Jordan Howe, 19, was struck by gunfire as he was seated inside a white 2008 Suzuki Reno parked in out front. Two others were wounded.
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Transported by ambulance to George Washington Hospital, Howe was pronounced dead at 1:06 a.m.
An autopsy found the cause of death to be multiple gunshot wounds. Two other unnamed victims were treated at local hospitals.
In the area of 6th and Chesapeake Streets SE, Lando was himself shot and wounded. He believed it was in retaliation for Howe’s death. He was treated for a graze wound to his head and for a gunshot wound to his shoulder. He planned to shoot and kill associates of Howe who were in attendance at his funeral service, scheduled for late Tuesday morning.
Lando and various co-conspirators, including Nate, made repeated unsuccessful efforts to rent a minivan prior to Howe’s funeral services. The efforts initially failed on account of a debit card with insufficient funds.
Through an intermediary, Lando rented a silver-colored Chrysler Town and Country minivan with Virginia tags. He set out to meet with conspirators and gather firearms. He picked up Dro, who had a Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol, and Little Rob, who had a .45 caliber semi-automatic, and then picked up Neph and Nate. The five drove to Neph’s residence where they parked. Neph went inside and got the AK-47, which Lando had used in the murder of Howe. Neph also got another magazine, a pair of gloves and provided them to Little Rob. Lando declined the 12-gauge shotgun that Neph offered. They drove a short distance where Neph got out.
Lando then wanted to obtain another gun. He decided to rob a particular individual he believed had a suitable firearm. He drove to the Wingate apartment complex along Galveston Street SW. He sent in Little Rob and Dro to confront Tavon Nelson, 17, with the intent to rob him and take his gun. Nelson reached for his own weapon. Dro drew his pistol and opened fire first, striking Nelson. Little Rob also struck Nelson. Nelson subsequently died.
The four left and turned right onto Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SW with the intent to locate and retaliate against friends and associates of Howe. They spotted a sizeable group of individuals, several wearing T-shirts memorializing Howe, who were gathered in front of 4022 South Capitol St. SE, a modest single-family dwelling located at the corner of South Capitol and Brandywine streets SE. They drove past and made a U-turn.
The crew put on “black ninja-type masks.” Rolling down the windows with guns drawn, Lando brought the minivan to a complete stop in front of 4022 South Capitol St. SE.
Dro, seated in the back seat of the driver’s side, reached across the passenger side with the Glock 9 mm and started shooting at the crowd. Little Rob, armed with a pistol, reached out of the front passenger window and did the same. Nate leaned back and began shooting out of the window on the passenger side.
Bullets struck a total of 9 individuals—3 were killed—Brishell Jones, 16, Devaughn Boyd, 18, William Jones, 19. Six others were wounded.
Shortly after the shooters left and removed their masks, they noticed a police cruiser, which began following them. An extended chase ensued, including pursuit by a helicopter. Lando told the crew to throw out their guns. Nate complied and discarded his weapon in the 2100 block of Savannah Terrace SE.
The police chase came to an end in an ally in the rear of the 600 block of Atlantic Street SE. Lando drove the minivan into the closest police car, intentionally, and then the co-conspirators fled on foot. Nate and Lando were apprehended after a short pursuit.