D.C. police on Tuesday morning announced the arrest of a 17-year-old suspected of killing 15-year-old Davonte Washington at the Deanwood Metro station on Saturday in front of his mother and siblings.
Officials said the suspect, whose name and gender were not released, is being charged with second-degree murder as an adult. But because the individual won’t be arraigned in court until this afternoon, officials added that they couldn’t disclose much more information beyond the fact that an arrest had been made in the case. Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik said platform cameras were essential in quickly identifying the suspect.
“Of all the tragic things that we see when it comes to violence, nothing really is more senseless than this case, in my opinion,” Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier said. “The loss of a 15-year-old under any circumstances is tragic. But certainly in this case, [it’s] even more so as it appears that there’s just no reason for it—absolutely no reason.”
Lanier added that officials had no indication that Washington and the suspect knew each other. She said the arrest was made in Southwest late Monday afternoon and that more details would become available in court documents to be published later today. “There is no place on our public transportation system in Metro that you cannot go and be caught on camera somewhere,” Lanier explained. “That video is crucial.”
Meanwhile, Washington’s family is planning a vigil for peace on Wednesday night at the Deanwood station. The vigil will take place at 7 p.m. at 4700 Minnesota Ave. NE.
The most recent shooting in a Metro station before Saturday’s occurred at the Anacostia station last month.
Update 4:25 p.m.: On Tuesday afternoon, D.C. Superior Court Judge Renee Raymond ordered 17-year-old Maurice Bellamy to be held without bail until a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 22. Bellamy stood silently while members of Washington’s family cried from the audience and when U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecutor Glenn Kirschner said surveillance evidence “clearly depicted” Bellamy’s face. The camera footage, Kirschner added, allowed MTPD officers to match photos of the suspect with a database of previous offenders. At least two witnesses identified in a police affidavit who are “well-known” and “not strangers” to Bellamy indicated him as the gunman, the prosecutor said, leading to Bellamy’s arrest.
“This case gives new meaning to [the phrase] ‘senseless murder,'” Kirchner told the court, before pointing to the 17-year-old suspect and describing him as “dangerous.”
Bellamy’s attorney Madalyn Harvey contested the reliability of the two witnesses’ depositions, arguing that both could have been “biased” against Bellamy for fear of being viewed as suspects themselves. Still, Raymond found “probable cause” and “substantial probability”—a higher legal standard—for the suspect to be arrested.
D.C. police say they responded to the incident at roughly 4 p.m. on Saturday, when they found Washington suffering from an apparent gunshot wound.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery