Yesterday, Nathaniel Simms, 26, pleaded guilty to participating in the mass shooting on South Capitol Street on March 30, which led to the death of four and the wounding of five. Plea documents reveal that Simms also had a hand in the death of Jordan Howe on March 21, albeit as a get-away driver.
Court documents related to Simms’ plea leave the impression that during both incidents, Simms and other conspirators didn’t have much to say—Orlando Carter, 20, was calling the shots.
Of course, you’ll remember that authorities believe that the night the first of a string of retaliatory killings got underway, that shooting was provoked by Carter’s brother, Sanquan Carter, 19:
“By way of background, on the night of Sunday, March 21, 2010, nineteen-year-old Sanquan Carter, went to the 1300 block of Alabama Avenue, S.E. Inside an apartment at 1333 Alabama Avenue, S.E., Sanquan Carter had sex with a fifteen-year-old girl whose identity is known to the government. After that, Sanquan Carter discovered that a gold-colored bracelet that belonged to him and that he had removed from his wrist, was missing. Concluding that someone had stolen this property, Sanquan Carter became incensed. Angry and bent on violent retribution…”
But seeking payback, Sanquan Carter quickly called in his brother, who seemingly took command of the situation from then on, giving orders and marshaling the troops.
“Upon receiving the call from his younger brother Sanquan Carter, Orlando Carter directed Nathaniel Simms to call Jeffrey Best, whom Orlando Carter had just dropped off, and to tell Jeffrey Best to come back outside at once.”
Simms, documents say, did as he was told. Best also did as he was told, he came back outside and Carter picked him up.
After acquiring some guns from suspect Lamar Williams, 22, documents say, Carter again took the lead, letting his accomplices know exactly what was going to happen from that point forward. “With the three firearms in hand, Orlando Carter spoke with Jeffrey Best, Nathaniel Simms, and Lamar Williams about his plan to retaliate against the individuals believed to be responsible for taking property” from his brother.
The crew met up with Sanquan Carter and followed through,, according to documents, firing at a group of people on Alabama Avenue SE they suspected of having filched the jewelry. As a result, Jordan Howe was fatally shot while sitting in his car.
When, on March 23, Orlando Carter was shot in what he believed was an attempt to take revenge on him for Howe’s death, he again took hold of the mantle of leadership. “In the aftermath of having been shot on March 23, 2010, Orlando Carter concluded that friends and associates of Jordan Howe were responsible for shooting him. Orlando Carter vowed to exact violent revenge and, to that end, recruited coconspirators whose identities are known to the government, including Nathaniel Simms, to assist him in executing a plan he developed.”