Charges Against Suspected Mass Shooting Driver Dropped

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCWashington.com

    A 14-year-old once suspected of driving the minivan in the March 30 southeast D.C. drive-by shooting that killed four and injured five no longer is facing charges.

    Police said they're not confident in the case they have against the 14-year-old. There are conflicting reports about whether the 14-year-old was there, sources told the Washington Post.

    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.

    Police said the boy was arrested in the school near where the van was stopped. Other youth were there for an evening program and the boy had signed in earlier that evening, a source told the Post

    Charges Dropped in DC Mass Shooting

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    When the boy saw the officers, the source said, he put his hands in the air. He did so, apparently, not because he had been involved in the shooting but because he was an absconder from the juvenile justice system in an earlier criminal case, and he assumed that police had come to arrest him, according to the source.

    The boy had been charged as juvenile with 41 crimes, including four counts of first-degree murder. Mayor Adrian Fenty, Police Chief Cathy Lanier and Attorney General Peter Nickles announced Thursday evening that the attorney general's office is dismissing all charges.

    Fingerprint evidence and additional witness statements have led prosecutors to exonerate the 14-year-old, Nickles said.

    Police arrested two more men on Thursday in the shooting and are searching for a third man, Lanier said. Two men had been arrested earlier in the case.

    The 14-year-old's criminal career began at age 9 and led to 10 arrests, including on charges robbery and assault of a police officer, according to court documents. Youth Services was ordered to keep him secured six times, and he got away six times.

    The mother of one of the victims killed said she's "appalled" by the latest developments.