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Posted at 2:45 PM ET, 04/22/2010

Charges dropped in SE shooting

By Washington Post editors

Update, 2:40 p.m.

Sources tell The Post's Paul Duggan that charges have been dropped in the case of a 14-year-old boy accused in a drive-by shooting in SE D.C. in which four people were killed and five were wounded.

Mayor Adrian Fenty and D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier may hold a press conference some time this afternoon.

Click here for more details.

Earlier post:

Authorities are no longer confident that they have a strong case against a 14-year-old boy accused in a drive-by shooting that killed four people in the District, and they might move to dismiss the charges against the youth, law enforcement and D.C. government sources said.

The full extent of the trouble with the case remains unclear, but one problem concerns insufficient evidence that the teenager was involved in the attack at all, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.

Although a police sergeant identified the youth as the person she saw driving the minivan used in the March 30 attack, one of two adults who allegedly were in the van has told homicide detectives that the teenager was not with them, one of the sources said.

"I can’t say anything about that right now. I can’t comment," said Lt. Nicholas Breul, a D.C. police spokesman. Chief Cathy L. Lanier and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty might schedule a news conference Thursday afternoon and speak about the shooting.

-- Clarence Williams and Paul Duggan

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By Washington Post editors  | April 22, 2010; 2:45 PM ET
Tags:  Detective, Drive-by shooting, Homicide, Law Enforcement, Police  
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