“Three men, all from Washington, D.C., were sentenced Friday to prison terms for their roles in a drive-by shooting on North Capitol Street early March 11, 2013, that injured a total of 13 people, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.
Andrew D. Allen, 20, Keith D. Bobb, 22, and Arnell L. Smith, 21, pled guilty on July 3, 2014, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to 13 counts of assault with intent to kill and one count each of conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence and tampering with physical evidence. Their plea agreements, which were contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for Allen to be sentenced to 25 years of incarceration and for Bobb and Smith each to be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The Honorable John Ramsey Johnson accepted the plea agreements today and sentenced the defendants accordingly: Allen, to 25 years, and Bobb and Smith, to 20 years each. Upon completion of their prison terms, the men will be placed on three years of supervised release.
“These three men will spend decades behind bars for the terror and chaos they unleashed on North Capitol Street,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “They left behind 13 victims when they sprayed gunfire into a crowd of innocent people. These prison sentences are a reminder that purveyors of violence and mayhem will be punished harshly.”
“This was a senseless act of violence perpetuated by rival crews,” said Police Chief Lanier. “It is our hope that the sentencing today of these criminals will bring some comfort and closure to the numerous victims who were injured.”
According to the government’s evidence, the violence stemmed from a longstanding conflict between rival groups. The defendants, who had ties to a Northeast Washington neighborhood, were engaged in disputes with a group of individuals associated with the Sursum Corda neighborhood near where the shootings occurred, and also with the area near 10th and G Streets NE. Over the years, various violent crimes between members of the two groups were committed.
Specifically, soon before the shootings, a dispute took place at the Fur Nightclub.
Allen, Smith, and other individuals were among those at the nightclub late March 10, 2013 and early March 11, 2013, when the dispute took place. Afterward, Allen, Smith, and a third individual met with Bobb and, armed, they traveled in two cars to the Sursum Corda neighborhood in search of retaliation. A fifth individual, not responsible for the shootings, also was in one of the cars.
Shortly after 2 a.m., driving in caravan-style, one car behind the other, they traveled to the 1200 block of North Capitol Street NW, near the Tyler House Apartments, adjacent to the Sursum Corda neighborhoood. Smith drove one car, Allen’s black 1999 Mercedes Benz, and Allen fired a Taurus 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, with an extended magazine, from the front passenger seat of the vehicle. Bobb drove the other car, a light blue 1999 Mercedes Benz, close behind Smith and Allen, and his passenger likewise opened fire, using a Glock 9 mm semiautomatic pistol, which also had an extended magazine.
After Allen began to shoot, some individuals, using .40-caliber semi-automatic firearms, shot back at the two cars. The defendants fled the area at a high rate of speed, turning right on H Street NW and running a red light. Red light cameras at the intersection of North Capitol and H Streets NW photographed the license tags of both cars.
The victims included seven men and six women, ranging in age from their late teens to their 30s. One man was shot in the abdomen and back and required multiple surgeries. One woman was shot multiple times in the left side of her body. Another man suffered a graze wound to the chest. Others were shot in the legs, thighs, buttocks and feet.
On the afternoon of March 11, 2013, Allen grew concerned and agitated about televised news accounts of the shootings. The newscasts had footage from the crime scene in which Allen could recognize his car. He decided that he needed to “torch” his vehicle, which had been damaged by gunfire, because it could be identified by law enforcement. He and other defendants headed to the 3000 block of Stanton Road SE, where the vehicle was set on fire to devalue or
destroy it as evidence. Following a series of 9-1-1 calls reporting the blaze, District of Columbia emergency personnel responded to the burning car. The remains of the car were seized by law enforcement, and evidence was recovered that later tied the vehicle to Allen’s family.
In the late afternoon of March 11, 2013, after the car had been destroyed, Allen, Bobb, and Smith resolved to get rid of the guns used in the shootings on North Capitol Street. The three received a ride to an apartment complex in Northeast Washington, D.C. There, Allen and Bobb met with another individual and traded away the Taurus and Glock pistols used in the North Capitol Street shootings in return for two Ruger semi-automatic pistols.
The defendants have been in custody since their arrests. Bobb and Allen were arrested on May 23, 2013. An arrest warrant also was issued for Smith at that time, but he was in custody to another jurisdiction and was not moved to the District of Columbia until early this year.
In announcing the sentences, U.S. Attorney Machen and Chief Lanier commended the work of the detectives, mobile crime scene officers, intelligence officers, and others who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Christopher Brophy, Tommy Miller, Derek Starliper, Durand Odom, Steve Cohen, Melissa Matthews, Mark Crawford, John Marsh, Nelson Rhone, Juan Juarez, and Matthew Kutz, all of the Criminal Investigation Unit; Jelahn Stewart, Michael Hailey, Wanda Queen, Jennifer Clark, and James Brennan, all of the Victim Witness Assistance Unit; former Victim/Witness Advocate Kristina Rose, and Paralegal Specialist Debra Joyner. They also commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Flynn and Jocelyn Ballantine, and former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas A. Bednar and James E. Smith, who assisted in the investigation.
Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Brittin, who prosecuted the case.”