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Zachary Funke was the first person killed in the District in 2010. He was killed on January 2. An autopsy revealed that Funke was stabbed multiple times in the right side of his neck and chest, court records show. The next day, D.C. Police detectives would charge Terrance D. Brooks with the murder of Funke.
Court documents present a narrative of events that lead to Funke’s murder and Brooks’ arrest.
Detectives were able to find a witness who stated that they observed an altercation outside 1768 Mississippi Avenue SE between Funke and Brooks (who goes by the nickname “Uncle Roy”). The witness saw Brooks punch Funke. Individuals broke up the fight and Brooks was seen walking back to his home at 1798 Mississippi Avenue SE. The witness stated that they went back inside 1768. A short time later, they heard yelling outside.
The witness told detectives that they walked back outside and heard people shouting that Brooks had stabbed Funke. The witness “observed the decedent bleeding heavily from his torso, and then got inside his girlfriend’s vehicle to go to the hospital” and then “observed Mr. Brooks standing nearby, and stated that it appeared Mr. Brooks had blood on his clothing.”
The witness then “confronted Mr. Brooks about the stabbing…and told Mr. Brooks that [they] would call the police.” Brooks then threatened the witness: if they called the police, he’d kill them too.
A second witness, according to the court records, also came forward to tell the detectives what they saw. The witness stated that Funke didn’t throw a punch at Brooks during the first altercation and that Funke had tried to restrain Brooks. Funke was preparing to leave the area when Brooks came back. The witness tried to intervene when they saw Brooks move in close to Funke.
The witness stated that Brooks pulled out a knife and told them to move out of the way. They “then observed Mr. Brooks reach toward the decedent and stab him repeated in the torso area.” The witness says that Funke told them that he could not believe that “Uncle Roy” had stabbed him.
The witness was able to ID Brooks from a photo array. “Who is that?” they were asked. They replied: “Terrance Dominic Brooks.” “What did he do?” The witness replied: “Stabbed Ziggy.”
A third witness also corroborated the narrative.
Det. Darin March writes in his statement before the court:
“During the course of the investigation, members of the Homicide Branch received information that Mr. Brooks was known to stay at 1798 Mississippi Avenue SE, Washington, D.C. On January 3, 2010, members of the Metropolitan Police Department responded to 1798 Mississippi Ave SE, and observed drops of what appeared to be fresh blood outside the only entrance to the apartment.”
Brooks admitted to getting into a fight with Funke. But denied to police detectives that he had stabbed him. He was placed under arrest and charged with the murder.
*photo by Darrow Montgomery.