In June, Lasanta Qumar McGill, a 62-year-old resident of the District was fatally shot by Demarcus Barnett, a 20-year-old resident of the same area. Recently, Barnett has been sentenced to almost nine years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed earlier this summer.
Police reported that an argument inside a market in Northwest DC escalated and resulted in shots being fired, which led to the death of McGill from a gunshot wound.
Barnett confessed in August that he chased down and fired shots at two people who had robbed him. Unfortunately, his actions resulted in the tragic death of McGill, who was an innocent bystander and had no connection to the initial incident.
While patrolling near the Howard Theater in the 1900 block of 7th Street NW, officers heard gunshots at around 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 8, according to Metropolitan Police Commander James Boteler.
When the authorities arrived, they discovered McGill, who had been shot, and immediately provided him with medical assistance until the paramedics arrived. Sadly, he passed away later that day at a nearby hospital.
The authorities were able to apprehend a suspect in a shooting incident and recover a firearm at the site of the crime, with the help of witnesses present in the vicinity and the responding officers.
Authorities apprehended Barnett on a charge of murder while armed just a day after the shooting, following his identification as a suspect.
According to Boteler, McGill was simply savoring the weather outside when he lost his life.
He added that this reiterates the fact that there are a significant number of people in Washington, DC who carry illegal firearms on the streets without proper authorization. “These individuals have no right to carry such firearms,” he said. He further emphasized that despite the challenges, law enforcement agencies, including their federal partners, continue to work tirelessly to combat this issue and ensure public safety.
“It is unacceptable to witness simple disputes escalating to gunfire in any city, and Washington, DC is no exception. The number of individuals carrying illegal firearms is a concerning issue that needs to be addressed urgently.”
The prosecution had urged for Barnett to receive the harshest possible sentence of 15 years in prison, citing his previous criminal record. Along with the prison term, the judge also mandated that Barnett spend five years under supervised release.
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