Victim Wrestles Gun From Suspect, Shoots and Kills Him

Man shot and killed after allegedly forcing two people into an apartment at gunpoint

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    A man linked to the high-profile killing of popular middle school teacher Brian Betts in 2010 was shot and killed Wednesday night after allegedly forcing two people into an apartment at gunpoint, reports NBC4's Pat Collins.

    Joel Johnson, 21, was killed after he and another man -- both armed -- accosted a couple who were walking in the 4200 block of 1st Street Southeast around 9:30 p.m., police said. 

    Police believe the motive was robbery, but once Johnson and the other suspect forced the couple into the third-story apartment, the male victim wrestled the gun away from Johnson and shot him in the head.

    The woman jumped out the third-story window to get away from the scene. She was injured in the fall and was later transported to a local hospital.

    The second suspect dropped his gun in the apartment before also jumping from a window. He escaped.

    On Monday, a similar incident happened five blocks away, on 1st Street Southwest. In that case, a man and woman were also forced into an apartment; he was tied up and robbed, and she was sexually assaulted.

    In 2010, Johnson was one of four people arrested in connection with Betts's death. Johnson's murder charges were dropped after he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to being an accessory to murder and got a reduced sentence; he recently got out of jail.

    Betts, who was the principal at Shaw Middle School, was killed in a robbery at his Silver Spring home in April 2010. Four men were charged, and three pleaded guilty.

    Click here for complete coverage of the Brian Betts murder.