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Final suspect arrested in mass DC shooting

A fifth suspect in a deadly drive-by shooting in the District was arrested Monday and charged with four counts of murder, ending the search for the alleged perpetrators of the most lethal outbreak of violence in the city in years, police said.

"We are very pleased to announce the final arrest in this case," Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said in a statement, after detectives arrested Jeffrey D. Best, 21, about 9 a.m. Two suspects were arrested on the night of the March 30 shooting in Southeast Washington and two others were arrested last week.

“While I know this does not alleviate the pain caused by these heinous acts,” Lanier said, “this arrest closes a chapter in this tragedy.”

Police initially had said that four people were killed in the drive-by attack, which occurred about 7:30 a.m. outside a ramshackle tenement in the 4000 block of South Capitol Street SE. But court documents detailing the police investigation, made public Friday, say that three victims were slain in the drive-by shooting and the fourth was killed minutes earlier in an attempted robbery nearby.

Authorities allege that Best and three other men — Orlando Carter, 20; Nathaniel Simms, 26; and Robert Bost, 22, all of whom are charged with four counts of murder — were in the rented minivan from which the shots were fired at the victims on South Capitol Street. The other man charged in the case, Lamar Williams, 22, allegedly supplied the guns that were used.

Killed in the drive-by attack were DaVaughn Boyd, 18; William Jones III, 19; and Brishell Jones, 16, and wounded five others.

The five suspects also are charged with murder in the death of Tavon Nelson, 17, who was shot on nearby Galveston Street SW, minutes before the drive-by attack, in a bungled attempt to rob him of a handgun, police said.

Police said the drive-by shooting was the final act in a cycle of retaliation touched off by a shooting the week before on Alabama Avenue SE in which Jordan Howe, 20, was killed.
Carter allegedly participated in Howe’s slaying March 22 and has since been charged with murder in that case, as well. A day after Howe was killed, Carter was wounded in a shooting near 6th and Chesapeake Streets SE. Police said in a court affidavit that Carter suspected his attacker was someone seeking street justice for Howe’s killing, and that Carter vowed revenge.

The group of people victimized by the drive-by shooting had been friends of Howe’s, according to police. Some of them, including the three who were killed, had attended Howe’s funeral earlier that day.

-- Paul Duggan

By Washington Post editors  |  April 26, 2010; 5:08 PM ET
Categories:  Cathy L. Lanier , Homicide , Paul Duggan , The District  
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After yet another shooting such as this one, can't gun control advocates see the inane-ness of their position?? It's like trying to contain cancer by having an already-ill patient stop eating processed foods. Sadly, the damage has already been done in regards to gun proliferation.

Posted by: kolya02 | April 26, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

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