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Shooting in Adams Morgan, MPD “confident that we have apprehended all parties involved as well as the weapon used”

by Prince Of Petworth — June 4, 2013 at 8:21 am 55 Comments

Ontario and Euclid St, NW

From MPD:

Third District members are investigating a shooting that occurred in the area of Ontario and Kalorama at approximately 0300 hours where an adult male was shot and taken to local area hospital. While we are confident that we have apprehended all parties involved as well as the weapon used, we are seeking assistance from anyone that has information related to it. Thank you.

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A reader reports as of 7:50am:

“Kalorama closed between 17th and Champlain right now.”

As of 8:45am a reader sends in the photo above and word that a taxi cab driver may have been shot.

Update from Council Member Jim Graham:

I have just come back from the scene of incredible police courage at Ontario and Kalorama early this morning.

MPD was in the neighborhood at about 3 AM this morning, when they heard a car accelerating. They went to the site on Ontario Rd near Kalorama.

A cab driver had tragically been shot in his cab, in an apparent robbery. The vehicle crashed into a sign and meter, and struck no other car. He later died at the hospital.

The officers gave chase on foot as two men fled the scene. They did so, even though the suspects fired some twenty shots at them. This all occurred in pitch darkness as the area was in a power blackout. (I have requested a report from Pepco on causes and future prevention of this power outage.)

As a result of their determination, two individuals were arrested, Apparently they had hailed the cab in another section of DC.

I want to express our appreciation for this fine police work.

The tragedy of the death of the cab driver is very sad indeed. I believe we can take steps to avoid t his in the future. Tomorrow, I will attend a hearing on cab driver safety chaired by CM Mary Cheh.

We must consider all options to protect our cab drivers in the District of Columbia. This must not happen again.

Update from MPD:

The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating a police involved shooting which occurred in the 2400 block of Ontario Road, NW.

Preliminary investigation reveals that on Tuesday, June 4, 2013, at approximately 3:15 am, police officers in the Third District’s Robbery Tactical Unit, were patrolling in the 2400 block of Ontario Road, NW, when they observed a taxicab drive by and heard a gunshot. The taxicab crashed and two suspects jumped out of the taxicab and fled on foot. The police officers pursued the suspects and one of the suspects pulled out a handgun and fired at the officers who returned fire. The suspect then forced his way into a home where he was apprehended. The second suspect was apprehended nearby without further incident. A weapon was recovered. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel transported the taxicab driver, the victim of the shooting, to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.

The decedent is identified as 57-year-old Solomon James Okoroh of Lanham, Maryland.

The first suspect has been identified as 32 year-old Ercell Overton of Northwest, Washington DC. He has been charged with Murder I, Felony Assault on a Police Officer, Burglary One.

The second subject has been identified as 24 year-old Joshua King of Hyattsville, Maryland. He has been charged with an unrelated Probation Violation Warrant.

No police officers were injured in this incident. The Metropolitan Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division and Homicide Unit are conducting the investigation.

  • Brittany

    I live in the area, and I remember hearing helicopters several times last night, and then our power went out for hours around 4am. Not sure if it was related or not.

    • Ward One Resident

      Doubt the power was related. Just a weird, creepy coincidence. Power was out right around 3am over near Calvert/Adams Mill because I had the dog out at that time.

      • Brittany

        That’s where we are too. Totally didn’t have my timing right. My fiance said the helicopter noise woke him up, and when he went to the bathroom noticed the lights weren’t working, but the building across the street from us had lights on. Power didn’t come back on for us until around 7 am (I remember that part because the sun was up, and when it came back on all the lights came on with it and woke me up).

    • anon

      i remember being woken up by helicopters over and over again for an hour or so around this time. i think i just assumed (in my groggy, sleepy state) that it was normal, but now that i think about it, it had to have been this.

  • 17th Street

    I live just around the corner and was awakened by the helicopters, to discover the power was out. Creepy coincidence is right, because I took the dog out for a walk at 3:45 and there were no lights anywhere and the loud hum of a few generators, plus this helicopter with its search focused a half block away. After having gotten that MPD email this morning, I wondered if I shouldn’t have been outside…

    • Anonymous

      You walk your dog at 3:45 am? Talk about a morning person (or a night owl?)

      • 17th Street

        Well, she was awake and whining, so I woke up, too! I thought it was a need for a walk, but perhaps she was agitated by all the noise?

    • Anon

      Yeah, we live on the corner of Kalorama and Champlain and we woke up to the sound of gunshots around 3 am. The shooting was so loud (fast “popping” sounds) and it was really frightening. We counted somewhere between 15 to 25 shots before it stopped. From our window we could see police cars, then around 20-30 minutes later we heard the helicopters and what sounded like k-9 units in the area. It was definitely even more unsettling since the power was out.

  • Billy

    I lived just off this intersection last year, and heard many late night arguments/altercations that sounded about to escalate into something this serious. Very frightening.

  • maria

    We live on Ontario and heard what sounded like 20 shots. Initial pop-pop, and then a whole bunch more. So many, that we both were like no way it’s guns, who shoots that many times…

  • Jon

    According to NPR, the cab driver was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

  • A cab driver was killed, and two shooters were apprehended by some tactical police who were already in the area. The shootout was between the police and the suspects. Pretty impressive work, I think. Oh, and at our house, the power came back on shortly *after* the shooting – it had been out for hours. Very weird night.

  • Mary

    I spoke with a cop on the scene. Three guys attempted to rob a cab and they shot and killed the driver. Police arrived immediately and the three guys barricaded themselves into a nearby house. Lots of gunfire exchanged. The cop said they’d found more than 200 bullet fragments. But they got all three guys.

    Making things even sadder — this is right by Marie Reed and tons of kids saw this and were blocked on their way to school this morning. How do you explain that to a kid?

    • I thought it was close to the school! The news reports keep saying it was on Kalorama. Maybe that’s where the guys ran to. Evidently one of them broke through someone’s front door before the police caught him.

    • If they’re growing up in DC (or any major city) they’re likely to see something like this eventually. I think it actually serves a valuable lesson on crime and punishment.

      • Mary

        Seriously? And what’s the lesson for the victim?

        • Anonymous

          I think you’ve misread this

      • Anonymous

        That’s one way to look at it, but I’m not sure if young kids can fully make a rational and concrete connection between viewing a crime scene where someone was killed, and the consequences for the perpetrator–at least, not enough for it to be a deterrent to potential future criminal behavior. And this isn’t as applicable in an area like Kalorama/Ontario where shootings are relatively rare, but I’ve actually read about some interesting research that’s finding that some people who grow up constantly surrounded by and witnessing urban street violence exhibit many of the same PTSD symptoms as veterans returning from combat.

        • Anonymous

          Nobody wants their kids to see something like that, but unfortunately, it’s the reality of living in a place like this.

          • Anonymous


            If you grow up in the city, you’re going to be exposed to a lot of craziness. Even wealthy, privileged friends of mine who grew up on the UWS of NYC had lived A LOT of life by the time they were 18. You’re just exposed to a lot of more everything – both good (culture, diversity) and bad (crime, drugs) – when you live in the city. Take the opportunity to turn those bad things into teachable moments.

      • Having lived in DC for nearly 30 years I’ve heard that “this is just life in the big city” line one too many times. I’m from an actual big city, and none of my friends have ever had a dead body dumped behind their $500,000 condo. This is life in THIS big city, it’s not life in typical normal cities in America. The worst cities, maybe. But not “big cities” per se.

    • I didn’t go by the scene, was it apparent this morning that it was a murder scene? Or was it just an area blocked off by police tape and police cars? Maybe all the kids thought it was another sink hole or at worst suspicious package.

  • I live on Ontario and woke up to yelling and commotion. I thought it was related to the power being out then I heard the popping. Scary stuff.

    Could someone let me know if they’re letting people onto Ontario? I had a helluva time trying to walk my dog this morning and I couldn’t drop her off at daycare due to blockages. I’m wondering if my dog walker will have the same trouble.

    • maria

      I was able to leave my house on ontario, but it didn’t look they were letting people walk on any blocked streets. Hopefully they will unblock the streets by then!

      • Yeah, I was able to walk her with some protest from an officer letting me get back onto Ontario. I hope that since weapon and suspects are in custody that they open up the area soon. The auto shop and laundromat looked concerned.

    • Ontario was still blocked off at Euclid when I rode by at about 11 this morning.

  • Woke up this morning at 3:40am and heard the helicopters. I never heard them like that, flying so low. I live about half a block away from the shooting.

  • pedro

    The balloon is off a bit…

  • JGH

    I live at Ontario and Euclid. Our power had been out for hours. I was still awake and heard a single shot, followed by multiple shots fired from a different direction maybe 5-10 minutes later. Maybe 20 minutes later we heard the helicopter start circling, and the power came back while it was still flying over.

  • I live on 17th and Kalorama and slept extremely soundly last night. I’m the 8:45am OP and clearly know much less about what happened than everyone else. Just noticed it on my morning run. Glad everyone was caught.

  • Anonymous

    Up at Lanier Heights we didn’t get power back in our building till 7am.

    • Brittany

      Ours too.

  • RJV

    I heard yelling, woke up (around 2:55 am), and heard about a dozen gun shots. I live in the area, and could see all of the police activity from my window. I could also hear and see police helicopters. MPDC was able to detain multiple suspects in the parking lot between Champlain and Ontario, while ongoing investigations continue this morning.

  • Anonymous

    Virtually the same exact location as where some guy got shot for resisting a robbery about 2-3 weeks ago…also like 2 blocks from our favorite stoop at 17th and Euclid…also close to where snakes keep falling out of trees…but seriously, I bet if the stoop goes, the stabbyness and shootyness goes down too…

    • Ward One Resident

      So how many comments in were we before someone made the leap to connect this to 17th and Euclid? Classy. We know nothing about the suspects other than that, according to the email from Jim Graham, the cab driver picked them up somewhere else in the city.

    • Anonymous

      Seriously, you’re trying to connect this to 17th and Euclid? Give me a break.

      I walked by the houses at 17th & Euclid this weekend with my girlfriend. It was a bunch of old black guys (age 55+) hanging out and chatting on a muggy Sunday afternoon. We said hello and they responded kindly. They’re pretty much harmless octogenarians.

      • Anonymous

        I walk by there often as well and have seen teens and pre-teens. They’re not ONLY octogenarians. Linking it to 17th and Euclid was in jest…it was more of a broad reference to folks who are or were once connected to the drug dealing and murderous “culture” and lengthy history of that particular spot/area…

        Things will no doubt improve around there once all of the condos around there are filled and that Ontario theater is re-built.

  • Timmy

    While I appreciate the dissemination of information, I can’t help but shake my head at this classic Graham add in: “(I have requested a report from Pepco on causes and future prevention of this power outage.)”

    • Anonymous

      Graham has a point. In this area it’s very rare for power to be lost, even in hurricanes because of the underground power. Residents should know why for the first time in what seems to be years, we had a blackout in the middle of the night. It doesn’t mean we need a witch hunt, a simple answer from PEPCO will do just fine.

  • AdmsMrgnResdnt

    The helicopters started circling when the power went off about an hour before the gunshots went off – coincident – I think not. and just for reference, our power didn’t even go off during hurricane storm winds, but went off last night. They also had a spotlight out, so my guess is these guys were up to no good and the police were already out looking for them. The story about the police just happening to be out on patrol when they found the taxi has got to be a load of crap. They don’t patrol the residential streets on this side of 18th late at night, they do in tonier Kalorama where the rich residents have lots of clout and contribute to J. Graham’s campaigns, but not on our side of the hood. We have commotion in the neighborhood all the time and 8 police stand on the corner of 18th and Kalorama shooting the breeze with the bar bouncers while fights and robberies happen a block or 2 away on the neighborhood streets. If you call the police it can take an hour for them to show up even though there are 8 of them a block away. One day, out of frustration, I asked these officers that hang out on 18th street why and was told they are not allowed to leave their posts on 18th street. “if their supervisor doesn’t see them on 18th street they will get in trouble.” So all I can say is that the police showing up was no coincidence and certainly doesn’t instill any faith in me that they are doing their job to protect the neighborhood in a proactive way. My guess is these criminals probably already attempted/and/or succeeded to rob others on the street and the police were tipped off that they were already roaming the neighborhood and were looking for them when they found the taxi situation. Who knows, maybe these criminals were the ones who knocked the power out so they could commit their mayhem in the dark. I still haven’t seen a report on what caused the power to go out, and there is a sub station half a block away on Ontario from where the shooting happened. When I looked at Pepco’s website to report the outage when it happened the only power outages were clustered around this sub station, doesn’t appear that the rest of the city was having any power outages. Again, coincidence, I think not. Will we ever get the real story from the police department – probably not – because Kathy Lanier wont want to tarnish her false image that they are on top of things.

    • Positive Pamela

      My tinfoil hat isn’t big enough for this.

      • Hehe – seriously. I mean, the cops came and got into a shootout with the perps. What more do you want?

    • Last night the police ran through gunfire to arrest criminals in your neighborhood. This morning you are complaining about the police in your neighborhood. You ought to try to get a little perspective, and express a little gratitude to the brave people who risked their lives for us last night.

      • Anonymous

        hmmm. someone complains about fights and lack of or late police response and you give this example to suggest they are ungrateful.
        it was murder. of course it’s a big deal. the “complainer” is just wishing that they took fights more seriously.

        maybe you need some perspective.

        • Anonymous

          Is that what that giant wall of crazy conspiracy theory text was? A complaint about fights?

          • Anonymous

            It was a little rant-y, but I think the commenter was expressing a reasonable desire for more dedicated and effective policing in that area overall, not just for the occasional incident of worst-case violence.

          • Anonymous

            only if your goal was to understand what was written.
            otherwise, yes, the takehome for the students at the back of the class is “crazy”.

    • Identified

      The cops on 18th are actually not allowed to leave 18th street, becasue they are part of the “Operation Adams Morgan” – which is paid for by the BID, and so the officers must stay on the strip.

      Reed Cooke is the more dangerous area for adams morgan, and even though I live there, I tire of seeing all the cops on the strip and none patrolling the neighborhood. The bar scene ends when the patrons return to their cars, and many of those cars on parked in Reed Cooke.

      I don’t know what caused the power to go out. We have nothing on the listserve but the MPD request for witnesses. We’ll have to wait and see what Pepco says, but in my years of living here, I can’t recall ever losing power.

    • Borrachica

      Ok, I don’t know how far you can take the conspiracy theory, but I live 1/2 a block away and the police response was instantaneous. Yelling, two gunshots, engine revving, and sirens…


      about 20 shots fired.

      Went down in about the same amount of time it would take for you to read this out loud. Which seems weird?

      So sorry for the victim’s family.

    • ontarioresident

      Don’t know where you get your info, AdmsMrgnResdnt, but it is all wrong. I live in the 2300 block of Ontario. Power went off around 1AM just as I was about to go to bed. Long before the helicopters and the shooting. I stayed up a bit longer to see if the power came back on and during that time there were numerous police cars patrolling the area since it was now pitch black. Which is how they happened to come across the shooting in progress. I was asleep by that time, but the banging and subsequent gunfire woke me. All the news and police reports are accurate. Your info is not. Take off your tin foil hat and find something better to do with your time.

  • RV

    Tragic indeed. My heart goes out to the cab driver.

    Great that the police did their job, but this area has gotten to be crime central!. Just last week, two people got shot. Police need to patrol the area as often as possible, especially since there are a lot of people walking home in the wee hours of the morning.

    • Anonymous

      There hasn’t been a homicide in Adams Morgan in years. This is tragic but by no means is a trend.


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