Arrest Made in Shooting Death of Matt Shlonsky


From MPD:

“Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch have announced an arrest has been made in the homicide which occurred on Saturday, August 15, 2015, at approximately 4:50 pm, in the 1800 block of Seventh Street, Northwest.

On Friday, August 21, 2015 at approximately 4:30 am pursuant to a DC Superior Court arrest warrant, 19 year-old Marcus King, of Northwest, DC was arrested. He was charged with Second Degree Murder While Armed, in the shooting death of 23 year-old Matthew Shlonsky, of Northeast, DC.”

62 Comment

  • well done

  • Good job Bowser and Cheif Lanier.

  • This reminds me of how missed Homicide Watch DC is…Congratulations to MPD for the arrest, that’s great, but now the court system comes into play and the media so rarely follows up on these things unless it’s sensational. Sigh.

  • Good work to DC”s finest- and from the sound of things Commander Kishter and his LTs have been pretty hands on in both this case and that of Tamara Gliss. Keep doing what your doing, MPD. We have your back.

  • Let’s hope he gives up the rest of the murderers.

  • Ally

    Great job to MPD! You guys get a lot of flack for things that often aren’t your fault. Know that most of us still very much appreciate all you do (addressing this to MPD since I know we have a few officers posting on here).

    • This is nice, but I’m not sure it’s time to start talking about how a 35% increase in the murder rate is not MPD’s “fault”. EVERYONE involved in public safety in this town needs to be doing some serious soul searching.

      • And more than just the public safety crowd. The communities and families that suffer the most need to have the courage to not tolerate gangs, drugs and weapons in their midst.

        • Blithe

          sproc, I wonder if you’re familiar with the Dawson murder case — the family that was murdered in Baltimore for having the courage to report criminals to the police. If you’re advocating that the communities and families that suffer the most should also take on the burdens of “not tolerating” criminal behavior, I hope you also have some suggestions for foolproof plans to protect them in these efforts. If you don’t, you’re asking already vulnerable people to become exponentially more vulnerable. One of the things that was so shattering about the Dawson case is that several children died as a direct result of their parent’s courageous efforts to create a better environment for them.
          I quite agree that community efforts are a huge part of what it will take to make our neighborhoods less violent. It’s important though, particularly if one is urging people to take on considerable risk, to ensure that a realistic system is in place to protect them from the vulnerabilities that may be associated with taking on these risks for the benefit of the community as a whole.

          • I hadn’t heard that story. Horrible.

          • Nailing it left and right on this and the Flea post. Bravo.

          • I get what you’re saying, but (1) there is no such thing as a fool proof plan and (2) asking the communities that are closest to the violence not to speak out against it seems like a sure fire way to make sure that everyone else’s efforts to change things won’t work. That said, it’s pretty naïve to think that this is just a decision that “that” community needs to make. Comprehensive problems like crime, poor health, racism, etc. require comprehensive solutions. Everyone can play their part.

          • Blithe

            friday, I am well aware that there is no such thing as a foolproof plan. My point is that if, from the comforts of relative safety and privilege, someone is asking someone else to “have…courage”, then along with that must be some acknowledgement of the potentially lethal level of risk they’re expecting someone else to assume, as well as some realistic plan for mitigating that risk. Again, if you’re not familiar with the Dawson case, please read up on it, imagine assuming that level of risk for yourself and for your family, and imagine asking someone else to do it — from your position of relative safety.

        • Years ago, I witnessed a shooting in the U Street corridor. I still have a pretty precise memory of the shooter’s stance, the shape of his hair and face, the color and shape of his gun, the flash from the muzzle. I was at the police station until sunrise describing all of it, went through several rounds of looking at mugshots, went to two line-ups, and testified in front of a grand jury.
          I don’t know if they ever caught the shooter I saw because the police and prosecutors made it crystal clear they were after someone else. The guy that the detectives on the case described to me certainly sounded like a monster, but he wasn’t the one I saw shooting. There were several other witnesses who had a much better vantage point than I did, but two of them ended up dead – they lived in the neighborhood, while I did not – and if they saw what I saw, then their testimony was no good to the case that investigators and the prosecution were pursuing. They were doggedly trying to steer me toward what they wanted and not what I know I saw.
          I’ve never regained my loss of faith in the justice system after that experience and have a full understanding of why people in close proximity to violent crime do everything in their power to stay away from both the criminals AND the law. It’s really unfathomable until you experience it firsthand, but it’s completely plausible to me that this kid really was a bystander and the real shooter will get away in our zeal to make sure someone – anyone – goes to jail for this murder.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Thanks for sharing, and holy f* that blows.
            I also find it completely plausible that this kid was a bystander, though I think it is even more likely that he was a (or the) intended target. He stated to NBC4 that he himself had been shot a few days before this shooting – somebody may have come back on Saturday to try to finish him off.

          • +1 to what HaileUnlikely said.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Sadly, if the latest reports are to be believed, he was not a bystander, but was both the target and a shooter. He claims that a guy in a car fired at him first, and he was armed and fired back.

      • justinbc

        It’s extremely difficult for police to prevent single occurrence homicides. In fact, it’s almost impossible without extreme profiling and “pre-arrests”. How would this specific murder, or any of the others that happened so far this year, have been prevented by a police officer under the current laws they have to work with in DC? And please don’t trot out the same trite “if they walked around and got involved with the community” bullshit. That’s not a real, actionable thing that you can quantify, it’s subjective nonsense.

        • That’s the most asinine sh*t I’ve heard anyone say on here in weeks. Nobody is asking for some sort of Minority Report see the future policing. While police cannot stop an individual murder before it happens, overall control of public safety leads murders to be higher or lower. It may vary within a few percentage points, but when you see 35% increase in one year it’s because government has lost control. Something is obviously wrong and needs to be fixed, and fatalist idiots like you just give our city officials excuses.

          • justinbc

            Thanks for proving my point by providing zero actual things any police officer could have done to have prevented one of the murders that occurred this year.

          • “It may vary within a few percentage points, but when you see 35% increase in one year it’s because government has lost control.”

            You’re not making a ton of sense yourself. The homicide rate nationwide has spiked pretty dramatically this year. You’re saying that all of a sudden all these local governments and police departments just “lost control”?

            That’s a bit simplistic, at best.

          • Actually I think he’s suggesting there are other issues that should be addressed to take on the rise in crime besides policing. For instance, lax sentencing for violent or repeat offenders.

          • “The homicide rate nationwide has spiked pretty dramatically this year.” – Thanks for giving more excuses to people in power. There is no reason we should have to put up with extended gun battles on crowded streets. If that doesn’t demonstrate a complete lack of law and order I don’t know what more you want.
            “providing zero actual things any police officer could have done” – It’s not my job to run the city. If a hospital hired a cardiologist and their fatality rate went up 35% would you say “well why don’t you do some open heart surgery”? No, you’d be calling a malpractice attorney.
            There is a very clear and massive jump in crime. Both the administration and the law enforcement apparatus need to recognize this, stop blame-shifting, and figure out how to solve the problem.

          • justinbc

            “It’s not my job”… It’s also clearly not your job to understand the complexities of policing citizens, as you fail to comprehend the limits they’re allowed to go in order to prevent these types of random shootings.

        • What are the chances this is this kids first brush with the law? You don’t just wake up one morning and decide you’re going to partake in a drive-by shooting.

          • justinbc

            You understand that MPD is not responsible for sentencing or operation of jails / prisons, right?

          • I’m not saying they are, or that they’re to blame for this guy committing murder. But you’re implying that nothing can be done to prevent this kind of crime, and I disagree.

          • This is why we need a complete reform of the prison system. But since that’s never going to happen, the best we can do is drastically increase the time people are locked up. I just don’t understand how you can murder someone in DC and only get 25 years, (with parole!), but you sell an ounce of drugs in Texas and get life with no parole.

          • justinbc

            AG, that is absolutely not what I said. My comments were directed specifically about MPD, as a response to “neighbor”‘s comment to Ally.

          • Sorry if I misunderstood. Still uncaffeinated.

        • Come on Justin, you have been on this listserv long enough to know the answer to the question you posed. This murder could have been prevented if DC had just torn down all the low-income housing projects in the city. Isn’t that always the answer?
          Oh, and also if people would just walk around and get involved with the community. 🙂

  • brookland_rez

    So tragic for all parties involved, but this guy needs to be put away for a long time. I wish we could do more to keep our youth from going down this path of crime that ultimately leads to something like this.

    • Completely agree with this — I worked with incarcerated youth in undergrad, and while a handful of them will always be caught up in a life of crime, many of them were very honest about the mistakes they’ve made and are full of regret, but don’t know how to get out or have access to programs that would assist them. I would love to see DC become home to a Homeboy Industries-style program that works particularly with youth.

  • Now let’s get the rest of them, try, convict and make sure they stayed locked up for 20+ years. Send a message that this type of crap is no longer going to be tolerated in DC.

    • Let’s not set the bar so low. A couple of gang members went to jail for 60+ years, convicted of Murder 1, in a similar case a few years back. Gang members shooting at each other in a crowded area, killed a bystander…

  • Bravo to DC Cops! So glad they got the arrest. This is such a sad story.

    We appreciate the hard work that DC cops do! ! ! Please keep it up!

  • News outlets are reporting that he turned himself in. Not a big deal at all, but this pressed feels a bit disingenuous.

    • justinbc

      “Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch have announced an arrest has been made in the homicide which occurred on Saturday, August 15, 2015, at approximately 4:50 pm, in the 1800 block of Seventh Street, Northwest.

      On Friday, August 21, 2015 at approximately 4:30 am pursuant to a DC Superior Court arrest warrant, 19 year-old Marcus King, of Northwest, DC was arrested. He was charged with Second Degree Murder While Armed, in the shooting death of 23 year-old Matthew Shlonsky, of Northeast, DC.”
      Did you read the same thing that I did? It’s not like they’re patting themselves on the back for busting a decades long unsolved crime here. They merely stated that an arrest was made and what the charges were. Please elaborate on what feels “disingenuous”.

      • To add on to your point, he could have turned himself in and then been arrested at the station. Both statements could easily be true. I’m not seeing how the cops are being disingenuous either.

    • How so? MPD released his name and picture yesterday as a suspect. So it’s not like he just voluntarily turned himself in – he knew it was only a matter of time until he got caught with his name and picture out there. Damn kid is only 19 – I doubt he had anywhere to go.

  • That’s great…but what will be the sentence though?

  • Keep in mind that he’s innocent until proven guilty. The report I saw this AM quoted him claiming he was a bystander. Not sure if I buy it, but I’m not going to get my pitch fork yet.

    What I find curious is that the increase in crime coincides with Muriel Bowser taking over City Hall. I’m not a 100% sure if the whole “blame synthetic marihuana” line is true or not. That stuff has been around long before the current crime spike. We are not in an economic downturn. The only thing that I can think of that is different is Muriel Bowser. However, I can’t think of anything that she has done or not done that would signal to criminals that they have a free reign under her administration.

    • Re. ‘I’m not a 100% sure if the whole “blame synthetic marihuana” line is true or not. That stuff has been around long before the current crime spike.’ — I think Bowser is exaggerating its impact, but apparently the chemical formulations of synthetic marijuana have changed enough this year that hospitals are seeing erratic behavior that they weren’t previously seeing from its users.

    • Even if he didn’t pull the trigger on the murder weapon, he can likely still be convicted of murder under the felony murder rule.

      • I don’t know that felony murder would apply. In DC, felony murder applies if someone is killed during the commission of “arson, first degree sexual abuse, first degree child sexual abuse, first degree cruelty to children, mayhem, robbery, or kidnaping, or in perpetrating or attempting to perpetrate any housebreaking while armed with or using a dangerous weapon, or in perpetrating or attempting to perpetrate a felony involving a controlled substance.” Maybe more information will show one of these crimes was underway, but given that they’ve charged 2nd degree murder, there may not be any facts to support felony murder.

  • Innocent until proven guilty.

    • Thankful that they were able to get culprit off the street! If he is found guilty, I hope he never sees the light of day again.

      However, what about the other guys involved in the shootout? Are the police pursuing them? Hope so (get the scum off the street), but if not, I’m still dissatisfied.

  • He’ll probably be out in a few years.

  • I will be following this case through to the conviction and I will be filing a Victim Impact Statement at that point – anyone commenting on this board that they want to “see something done” should do the same. Even if your Victim Impact Statement is as simple and brief as the comments I have seen from many of you: “I never used to feel unsafe in the District before, and after this I no longer feel safe here” – that still makes a MASSIVE difference. The community must show the judge in charge of sentencing that this is a crime that has had an impact on the community and a LONG sentence is the only acceptable outcome. Take ten minutes and file one and make a difference here.

    • Hi Shaw, I’m not familiar with a VIS. can you tell me more about it. I will google it 🙂 but curious to hear your exp with it. Thanks!

  • Good – let’s keep REAL criminals like this one off the streets

Comments are closed.