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Man charged in Tues. U St. shooting

Washington Post Editors

District Mayor Adrian Fenty and police chief Cathy L. Lanier announced an arrest in the death of a man leaving a funeral on a busy U Street Northwest block Tuesday.

In a Wednesday morning press conference, they also sought the public's help in finding a second person fleeing the scene in a 2001 white Buick.

Lanier said police arrested Brandon Miller, 21, of Girard Street NW, at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Miller faces one charge of first degree murder while armed and will probably face arraignment later Wednesday.

Police also sought information about the white Buick seen with D.C. license plates at the scene, saying they were looking for another person leaving with Miller in the vehicle.

"That car was used to leave the scene. We believe the shooter and possibly a second person was in that car," Lanier said. "Anyone who has seen that car could provide some additional assistance."

Miller was arrested in connection with the death of Jamal Coates, who was found dead in an overturned Dodge Caliber on U Street after being shot at while trying to drive away from Walker Baptist Church.

Lanier said investigators believed the killing stemmed from a gang dispute and was not connected with the case of Ashley McRae, outside whose funeral the shooting occurred.

While Fenty hailed quick police work for the arrest, Lanier thanked community members for aiding the investigation and condemned gang violence as self-defeating.

"We do know gang members were involved . . . But even with the information we have, there's no reason to take someone's life," Lanier said.

She added, "Every time a shooting or homicide occurs, we make an arrest -- and that person loses their life as well. I don't understand what kind of dispute would be worth not only taking that person's life, but giving up your life as well."

-- Spencer S. Hsu

By Washington Post Editors  | September 29, 2010; 9:25 AM ET
Categories:  Homicide, Spencer S. Hsu, The District, Updates  
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Comments

“Every time a shooting or homicide occurs, we make an arrest – and that person loses their life as well. I don’t understand what kind of dispute would be worth not only taking that person’s life, but giving up your life as well.”

The problem Chief is that a lot of these kids watch movies such as "Scarface" too many times and don't know how to distinguish Hollywood from reality. They think that they can be Al Pacino and go out and shoot and kill anyone who "disses" them and then walk the streets the next day like nothing's happened. But now I guess this young man will have to spend the next 20 years in jail pondering over the foolish mistake that will cost him his young adult life.

Posted by: lwilliamson1 | September 29, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"I don't understand what kind of dispute would be worth not only taking that person's life, but giving up your life as well."

Oh, the words are so powerful. They need to make a 30 second commercial and run it over and over and over and over and over in the black community.

Because that is what happens. WHEN YOU KILL SOMEONE YOU HAVE EFFECTIVELY ENDED YOUR OWN LIFE BECAUSE YOU ARE LIKELY TO SPEND THE REST OF YOURS BEHIND BARS.

Posted by: keedrow | September 29, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

@lwilliamson1-"The problem Chief is that a lot of these kids watch movies such as "Scarface" too many times and don't know how to distinguish Hollywood from reality....."Blahblahblah--there is no conclusive data behind this argument--for either movies/videogames--theyve actually shown that violent videogames decrease aggression rather than progress it.

You have false reasoning for your argument and there were probably many more factors involved in this than violent movies--such as neglect from parents(ie parents not setting boundaries, teaching to respect others and most likley lack of education. Its sad to see people blame violent crime on violent entertainment means when there are much bigger problems at work here--The communities of SE DC are not the best--if you grew up in these areas you are most likely going to grow receptive and comfortable with setting and the way problems are dealt with--and without a strong parental bond and guidance--you can almost guarantee a another strayed youth.

@Keedrow--
"They need to make a 30 second commercial and run it over and over and over and over and over in the black community."
Really!?!--you are going to direct this specifically at the black community--I'm sure I could find just as many examples of violence of such in white/ hispanic/ asian/ middle eastern/etc. communities...

Posted by: ebgeer | September 29, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Everyday somebody goes postal in the US and kills innocent civilians in public. sometimes in schools, universities, hospitals, ....
The "free american media" does not dwell on that, these individuals are not christian terrorists or american terrorists. But if one arab or muslim does the same thing the media goes in high gear and blames all muslims for his actions.
Geffry dahmer anyone?

Posted by: MumboJumboo | September 29, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

These young people today, especially those living in the cities across America (rural America too)need help. What can we do as American citizens to make sure our cities and counties are cleaned up. I am afraid to say that our country is sliding backwards and have been for years. It is also sad to say that we could end up as a 3rd world country. We need to bring back the military draft! Don't you think that would help some? At least these young people could get educated, trained and disciplined.

Posted by: twpost1 | September 29, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

These young people today, especially those living in the cities across America (rural America too)need help. What can we do as American citizens to make sure our cities and counties are cleaned up. I am afraid to say that our country is sliding backwards and have been for years. It is also sad to say that we could end up as a 3rd world country. We need to bring back the military draft! Don't you think that would help some? At least these young people could get educated, trained and disciplined.

Posted by: twpost1 | September 29, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

We need to bring back the draft!

Posted by: twpost1 | September 29, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"They need to make a 30 second commercial and run it over and over and over and over and over in the black community."
Really!?!--you are going to direct this specifically at the black community--I'm sure I could find just as many examples of violence of such in white/ hispanic/ asian/ middle eastern/etc. communities...

* * *

Yes but it is poor urban black communities that have arguably been ravaged by violence worse than the others you mention.

PC pussy-footing sure doesn't help here. These kids need help (even of the "scared straight" variety) and I don't see how making all kinds of excuses for this predatory gang behavior helps anything except your misplaced sense of egalitarianism.

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | September 29, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

ebgeer - no one wants to hear it, especially blacks who are in denial of everything from us missing the education boat to our foul lifestyles, eating habits and sexual behavior. But our kids and their hiphop culture has not only ruined THEIR futue but makes it bad for all other blacks out there trying to do the right thing. Their behavior keeps us jailed, unemployable and living below the poverty line while every other race, including hispanics have caught us and are pulling ahead while we sit around and complain and hope that a black president will somehow rescue us from our own self destruction.

Posted by: keedrow | September 29, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

honestly this isn't worth commenting on. The police public-relations bureau is completely incompetent.

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | September 29, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"She added, "Every time a shooting or homicide occurs, we make an arrest -- and that person loses their life as well. I don't understand what kind of dispute would be worth not only taking that person's life, but giving up your life as well.""

Yes, you make an arrest. But do you arrest the right person?

Or is that even a concern, merely that you make an arrest for every shooting?

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | September 29, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"Because that is what happens. WHEN YOU KILL SOMEONE YOU HAVE EFFECTIVELY ENDED YOUR OWN LIFE BECAUSE YOU ARE LIKELY TO SPEND THE REST OF YOURS BEHIND BARS."

LOL if that were the case then not only would the police be 100% effective at catching the perp but they would get *convicted* 100% of the time and also 100% of them would serve a life sentence.

How true can this be and you still have people shooting other people...in broad daylight in the middle of a busy city intersection?

Wasn't it just the other day when there was a shooting at a party in SE and the police arrested the wrong guy?

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | September 29, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@keedrow, +1. Well said. -Signed, your favorite neighborhood AA.

Posted by: cpayne624 | September 29, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

We try to raise young men with self respect. It's sad when the trash on the streets have more influence on our sons and daughters than we parents/guardians do. I believe that kids born without a conscious are rare, but the rash of young murders keeps escalating. Is the Washington metro area going to become a police state? Something has to happen to make the streets safe. One suggestion: tougher and longer sentences for murderers. Minimum 20 years, no early parole. They should have been good BEFORE TAKING A LIFE.

Posted by: skinfreak | September 29, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Bring back the draft!

Posted by: twpost1 | September 29, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"Its not movies,music none of that.I think thats the dumbest stuff I have ever heard.Movies dont kill ppl,rappers dont kill ppl,none of that is a factor how many of you have ever been in his shoes.I'm from NW from a neighborhood just like his.Nothing is worth taking another persons life but you never know what made him do it.Peer pressure is a major factor in dumb actions.Believe it or not some drug dealers or "thugs" like you ppl love to use play a bigger influence on ppl making the right choices when you parents are not around.I'm not saying what he did was right it was dumb no doubt about it but dont say what made him do it if you aint never been faced with that situation.If you judge mental ppl where more involved with your communitys you would know whats going on..."

Posted by: ziggyzuy | October 3, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

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