D.C. police Chief Robert Contee
Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee Credit: Darrow Montgomery/File

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Law enforcement officers in D.C. shot at three people in February, including the deadly shooting of a man on Tuesday by two deputy U.S. marshals in the 4300 block of Third Street SE. Police officials have provided few details of the fatal shooting, and only identified the man as an “adult male” in his early 20s.

U.S. marshals attempted to arrest the man around 1 p.m. yesterday on “several warrants,” according to Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee. The Washington Post reports that marshals were looking for the man for an alleged parole violation. Contee said after “a very short foot pursuit” the man “produced a firearm” and was then “shot by U.S. marshals.”

Contee could not say whether the man fired at the marshals and did not provide any additional information about what prompted the marshals to fire. The chief said yesterday that the investigation is still in its early stages and that some details may change. MPD is responsible for investigating the fatal shooting and will present their report to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to determine whether to file criminal charges.

U.S Marshal for D.C. Superior Court Robert Dixon said only that the man was wanted on warrants “throughout the DMV area” and that the warrant his deputy marshals were serving was “legitimate.”

“I don’t think it’s particularly interesting or particularly of value to go into specifics of the other warrants,” Dixon said.

D.C. police officers shot at a man in Columbia Heights less than 24 hours before the deadly Tuesday afternoon shooting. In that case, MPD officers responded to a report of shots fired. Assistant Chief Leslie Parsons said officers found a suspect who matched witnesses’ descriptions of possible shooters and instructed the man to halt, but he refused.

“One of the officers then announced to his fellow officers that the individual had a gun in his hand,” Parsons said. “At that point, officers from the Third District did discharge their firearm in the direction of the suspect.”

Parsons said the man then ran from officers and was later found in an alley “with what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.” Parsons said a witness told officers that the man shot himself. Parsons did not initially say whether the man fired at officers, but MPD later released a statement alleging that the man, identified as Savontae Dodie Perkins, exchanged gunfire with officers before he was found in the alley.

In the third incident, Feb. 10, MPD Officer Alex Rosario-Berroa shot 38-year-old Steven Shaw, who the officer mistakenly believed was a suspect in an assault. It turned out that Shaw was not involved in the assault, but Rosario-Berroa shot Shaw during a struggle in a vehicle on Good Hope Road SE. Shaw had resisted the officer’s directions to get out of the car and, at one point, the officer told Shaw repeatedly to “stop reaching” and “stop fucking reaching. You’re going to get shot,” according to body camera video.

Rosario-Berroa fired once into Shaw’s midsection. He was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive. Rosario-Berroa is on administrative leave while MPD investigates the shooting. The U.S. Attorney’s office, as they do for each fatal police shooting, will determine whether to bring criminal charges.

The Feb. 10 incident was the first serious or fatal use of force by an MPD officer since Aug. 25, 2022, according to MPD Chief of Staff Marvin Haiman. That August incident involved a serious, but nonfatal, use of force by Officer Ethan Way, according to a letter from former Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Chris Geldart.

MPD is required to identify its officers involved in serious and fatal uses of force, and to release the accompanying body camera footage. MPD did not release body camera footage in the Aug. 25 incident because the law allows the subject of a use of force to decline its release. The subject of Officer Way’s use of force asked that body camera footage not be released, according to Geldart’s letter.

Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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By City Paper staff (tips? editor@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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By Alex Koma (tips? akoma@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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By City Paper staff (tips? editor@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Credit: Stephen Greenberg

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By City Paper staff (tips? editor@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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