Wagswoofs – In June, 62-year-old Lasanta Qumar McGill was fatally shot and District resident Demarcus Barnett, who was 20 years old at the time, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed. As a result, Barnett has been sentenced to almost nine years in prison.
Police reported that McGill was fatally shot after an altercation that began inside a market in Northwest DC escalated and resulted in gunfire in the street.
In August, Barnett confessed to chasing down two people who had robbed him and proceeding to recklessly shoot down the sidewalk. Unfortunately, his actions resulted in the tragic death of McGill, an innocent bystander who was simply standing in the area and had no connection to the initial incident.
According to Commander James Boteler of the Metropolitan Police, officers who were patrolling near the Howard Theater in the 1900 block of 7th Street NW heard gunshots at around 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 8.
When the authorities arrived, they discovered McGill who had sustained a gunshot wound. They immediately provided him with medical attention before the paramedics arrived and transported him to a nearby hospital. Unfortunately, he was pronounced dead later that afternoon.
Thanks to the help of witnesses who were in the vicinity and the prompt response of law enforcement officers, authorities were able to apprehend a suspect believed to be involved in a shooting incident. Law enforcement officials also recovered a weapon from the scene of the shooting.
The authorities were able to identify Barnett as a suspect just a day after the shooting incident. He was taken into custody and charged with murder while armed.
According to Boteler, McGill was simply enjoying the weather outside when he was tragically killed.
He added that this reaffirms the fact that there are too many individuals carrying illegal firearms on the streets of Washington, DC who should not be doing so. As an agency, they work diligently every day along with their federal partners to address this issue and do so effectively.
“It’s unacceptable that so many individuals are carrying illegal firearms, leading to simple disputes resulting in gunfire. This is particularly concerning in Washington, DC where it poses a significant threat to public safety.”
The prosecution had urged the court to impose a 15-year prison sentence on Barnett, taking into account his prior criminal record. Along with incarceration, the judge also mandated that Barnett be put under five years of supervised release.
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