Could D.C. Have Prevented Shooting Over Bracelet That Killed 4?


The Washington Post asks whether government officials could have done anything to prevent a case in which a disagreement over a lost bracelet led to a shooting in which four people died. Four young people — the oldest was 19 — were killed and five others were wounded when armed assailants in a minivan shot indiscriminately into a crowd. Three people have been arrested. “There’s no more egregious kind of retaliation than to shoot nine people and kill four people as they stand on the street corner because you’re ticked off about something,” said Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

Police wanted one of the suspects on suspicion of a March 22 murder, but prosecutors refused to seek an arrest warrant from a judge because they believed there was insufficient evidence. Says the Post: “It’s maddening that police were alert to this tragedy in the making but couldn’t forestall it.” The newspaper asks also about the city’s the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services; the 14-year-old driver of the minivan, as well as one of the victims, were ostensibly under department supervision. The driver had nine previous convictions, including theft and assault, and had absconded from the department’s custody. The Post says there have been troubling and persistent questions about how the agency places and supervises troubled youth in community settings. How was this boy being supervised, and were there missed signs of problems, the paper asks.

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