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'Shock,' 'disbelief' from D.C. councilmember who worked with dead 18-year-old

Police removed a body believed to be that of Alonte Sutton, 18, a promising D.C. Council intern, from a wooded area in Southeast Washington on Sunday afternoon.

D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown, who worked with Sutton, released a statement about him on Monday morning.

Alonte Sutton, 18, stands outside council member Marion Barry's office. Sutton was a good student and was set to graduate in June, family members said. (Courtesy of D.C. Council)

Sutton poses for a photo with council Chairman Vincent C. Gray. (Courtesy of D.C. Council)

Sutton. (Courtesy of D.C. Council)

The text of the statement:

‎The death of young Alonte’ Sutton came as a shock and I am in utter disbelief. An “A” student who was scheduled to graduate from Ballou High Senior School next month, Alonte’ was a model intern in my office last summer and he had plans to attend college in the fall.
An affable young man with a quiet yet respectful demeanor, Alonte’ always arrived at work in my office ahead of time and completed all of the tasks assigned him. He was a hard worker and was always willing to take on any task. He had a wonderful disposition and was loved by my entire staff and by other staff in the Wilson Building.
As a Council Intern this school year, Alonte’ was assigned to the Office of Support Services and he worked with numerous offices around the building. Those who met him knew him to be a fine young man who dreamed for a better life and an opportunity to help his family, especially his mother and grandmother, both of whom he loved dearly, and his little baby sister, whom he spoke of often.
In writing about his internship experiences in my office, Alonte’ wrote that he learned to “hold my head high each day and to have respect for myself and others; to believe in myself and to remember three important words, “Yes, I Can.”
Alonte’ was a favorite among the interns and was the finest in the Wilson Building. My staff and I offer our deepest condolences to Alonte’s family, the Ballou High School community and all those who came to know him.

Earlier: Body believed to be that of D.C. intern is found in woods

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 10, 2010; 10:26 AM ET
Categories:  The District  
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I had Alonte as a student in two different classes the past two years, and I can say without reservation that the kind words spoken by Mr. Brown are not spoken with any exaggeration. Alonte was a wonderful person: respectful, incredibly smart, and possessing the unique ability to navigate the rough environment of Ballou and his neighborhood with his morality intact. A great light has gone out at Ballou, but there are many more children like him that are worth fighting for....let us all pledge to do a little more out of honor for Alonte's spirit.

Posted by: MKostecka | May 10, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

RIP Alonte... hope the person who did this gets raped with sandpaper in jail

Posted by: rockettonu | May 10, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

This truly sad, you take somone life just because you got a gun. The person responsible for this has no clue of life and I hope the justice system treat him as such. D--- Ba----d.

Posted by: rickyjohnson1 | May 10, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Brown may want to analyze whether the crime bill he helped scuttle last year with his disingenuous demagoguery would have kept the killer behind bars and Mr. Sutton alive. We won't know until the shooter is arrested, but given the pattern of multiple repeat offenders, juvenile and otherwise, common to this city there's at least a chance that Mr. Brown contributed directly to getting this young man killed.

Posted by: mendelsonmustgo | May 10, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes it's a shame but then again DC doesn't want the death penalty either.

Posted by: FLvet | May 10, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I want to offer my condolensces to the family of Alonte Sutton. They have lost a wonderful son, the community has lost part of our bright future.

Posted by: peterdc | May 10, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow, did Brown actually read the statement? Effable is not the same as AFFABLE. Honor Alonte's memory by at least writing a statement that uses the correct words.

The rest is just so sad. It's terrible that an 18 year old had to assume the role as protector and provider of the house, hence his primary motivations for going to college. The fact that he wanted to do better for himself to help his mother, grandmother, and baby sister is admirable. It is also symptomatic of the problems plaguing the black community where practically 80% of all households are headed by single women... who were never married.

Rest In Peace Alonte and I hope they find the killer who took your life. I am slo sorry that your mother and absentee father didn't do enough to shield you from becoming a victim of the hood.

Posted by: BLKManCommonSense | May 10, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

This is a tragic and heinous act of stupidness. Alonta was one of the few bright spots of the community. Alonta face always illumanated with joy; very soft spoken individual. The black male is going extinct, some by reprehensible act of violence and the rest are stuck under neath a hard rock. Ward 8 is without any young or new political figures. Marion Barry is without power.(lame duck status) And the sad and perculiar ideaolgy of the residents in Ward 8 is that he can probably run for Ward 8 council member again and still come out victorious. It hard enogh for a individual to get a job; in these hard economic times but this man still increasingly gets in trouble with the law. And it is a total embarrassed meant to us as a city that he(then Mayor of D.C.) Marion got caught smoking CRACK---.. And his intial words where;" she set me up."HOW??? Moreover, he was some what successful as our mayor. The best out of the three(Kelly-Williams -Fenty). The ANC members are 70 and over and don't give a square about the community. The same members have been doing nothing for many years now, just looking and acting big. Peaceoholics, a multi-million dollar organization that just show up for news conferences-- oh and good friends of Fenty. Surprisengly enogh drug activities have diminished in area neighborhoods but malicious act of violence is unpredictable. We have to do better, we have to give our youth more tutelage.

Posted by: ambitious10241 | May 10, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

This is just so sad and messed up. From all published accounts Mr. Sutton was such a lovely young man. His life was cut so short by some person who needs to be locked up for the rest of his life. There are just too many instances of people's lives being snuffed out so quickly in a rage, usually caused by a firearm. Much sympathy to Mr. Sutton's mother, who has lost her son in such a tragic way. There are just no words to comfort his family.

Posted by: reliza17 | May 10, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

My condolences to the family of Alonte Sutton.

The title of this article certainly needs revision.

Posted by: ggirl1 | May 10, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

It makes no sense that the law makers in the District of Columbia will not impose the death penalty. This will by all means serve as a detterent for these low lifes that committ these senseles murders. The District of Columbia is no more than a killing field.

Posted by: SBRUCE8 | May 10, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The law makers of the District of Columbia need to impose the dealth penalty. This will definetly serve as a detterent for these low lifes that committ these senseless murders. D.C. is no more than a killing field.

Posted by: SBRUCE8 | May 10, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I worked with Alonte' during the summer as well as worked in the office next to his during the year. I was in complete shock yesterday when someone sent me a link to the story. It put a crack deep in my heart. He was getting on the right track and to know his dreams won't be accomplished crushes me! He will dearly be missed and my heart and prayers go out to the Sutton family!

Posted by: philliplmartin | May 10, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I am not a DC native and coming from an area where every black male is not from a single parent home, most of us even went to college or the military after high school. I find this city to be very depressing. I look at these parents, if we can call them that...and it literally makes me sick.

Posted by: xfactor211 | May 10, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes it's a shame but then again DC doesn't want the death penalty either.

Posted by: FLvet | May 10, 2010 3:01 PM
And really what would the death penalty stop? Do you really think some youngin is going to stop and say, "I'm not going to kill you because DC has the death penalty, dog"? Texas and Virginia are 2 states that wil fry you fast and that hasn't stop people from killing in those 2 states. The young men out here are not even scared to go to jail for the rest of their entire life, so do you think that the death penalty will slow them down? I've come to realize now that they commit the murders with the knowledge that they know they will get caught, because the majority of them who commit the dumb murders get caught a couple of days or a week later anyway. Plus do really think Congress who will not make DC a part of the Union, would give them the power to execute someone?

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | May 10, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Did the Post check out this kid's record? Unfortunately to some, this may be no surprise.


Posted by: DCJUSTICE | May 10, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

This is a tragic. Sorry to hear about such a loss.

For those who want the death penalty in DC (or anywhere has proven to be ineffective in deterring crime. Sorry, it does little or nothing to stop these horrific murders and it costs of money to the states for appeals.

Posted by: eps0609 | May 10, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I would like to send my deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Sutton! Please keep your faith in GOD!

Posted by: stoneyuptwn | May 10, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

The law makers of the District of Columbia need to impose the dealth penalty. This will definetly serve as a detterent for these low lifes that committ these senseless murders. D.C. is no more than a killing field.

Posted by: SBRUCE8 | May 10, 2010 3:56 PM |

The Death Penalty is not and has never been a deterrent for homicide! Look at the facts--

Look at the fact that most of the civilized world has no death penalty yet has much lower numbers of homicide.

Posted by: jkblodge1 | May 10, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I am so dismayed. That young man could have been ANYTHING one day, maybe mayor, maybe President.

The fact is, we do more for the killers than for kids like this. The course DC government has followed for five decades has utterly failed. It is time for a change, and it is time for the Dem pols (because that is what they are, they've been running the show the whole time) to put the good of DC ahead of liberal ideology.

My deepest condolences to the family. Your son made a difference by the example of his life.

Posted by: gbooksdc | May 10, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Rest In Peace Alonte. We let you down by not providing you a safe environment to achieve your dreams....Hopefully, the Mayor, Police Department, Civic Leaders and Citizens will finally stand up and put an end to this nonsense. We are the only ones who can change what is happening on our streets...............

Posted by: TBONE86 | May 10, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

It is a shame that this young man had to lose his life. In Southeast, where the crime rate is much higher, I myself almost got raped and stabbed to death by some black male who tried to pull me in the woods on wheeler road & southern avenue, several years ago. I was lucky that he didn't get me. I think that the death penalty for d.c. is necessary, because there are teens and young adults out there who are being sexually and physically abused, it is so unjustly that they have to go through that. They like myself are victims of this so called liberal system, but for real it is a bunch of hypocracy and bigotry that these big councilmen and council women in dc need to get a handle on, before it is too late, I feel that these young black males and men who are committing these crimes are doomed to this system, they are not scared to commit murder or fear going to jail as the young lady said, so why not bring on the dealth penalty, they don't think they have anything to live for anyway!

Posted by: gsmith47 | May 11, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

No death penalty in DC? For many, living in DC is a death penalty. No guns in DC? DC is one big gun club. It will stay that way until they get these people off the streets and begin holding parents accountable. Most of these thugs are youngsters who started out very young with no parental supervision with the crews giving them all the attention and support they craved and couldn't get at home. Move to DC. Be a FONZ.

Posted by: Calabrese99 | May 11, 2010 6:11 AM | Report abuse

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