The 18-year-old man charged Wednesday in the fatal shooting this summer of a 17-year-old D.C. girl has now been charged with killing two men in the past two days.
James Mayfield, of Northeast D.C., was charged Wednesday in the fatal shooting on Aug. 10 of Jamahri Sydnor, a high school graduate who was just days from starting college.
Detectives believe Mayfield killed a 38-year-old man in Northeast on Tuesday, killed a 21-year-old man in Northeast on Wednesday and committed at least three robberies in the area this week alone, D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham announced Thursday.
The crimes all occurred within a mile of each other, south of Rhode Island Avenue and north of New York Avenue.
Jermaine Bowens, 38, died after he was shot Tuesday. Elijah Henry, 21, died after he was shot Wednesday.
Mayfield has been charged with three counts of murder, plus attempted robbery and carrying a pistol without a license. He pleaded not guilty.
Sydnor's mother, a D.C. police sergeant, saw her daughter's alleged killer in court on Thursday.
"He's a monster. He is a monster. And it's just sad that he had the opportunity to strike yet twice again," Sgt. Que Wallace said outside the courtroom.
"He killed my baby," she continued.
Sydnor was hit by a stray bullet as she drove along the 1400 block of Saratoga Ave. NE, less than a mile from her home, on Aug. 10. Police have said the gunfire was part of a neighborhood dispute. Sydnor died two days later.
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Wallace cried in court Thursday as prosecutors told a judge Mayfield had said he shot Sydnor "because she just got in the way."
"My heart dropped. My stomach felt like it was going to just absolutely throw up. [Jamahri] was doing what she was supposed to do, getting ready for a wedding, taking my grandson to get his hair cut and she got in his way. How is that? It's awful," Wallace said.
Mayfield is the third suspect charged in Sydnor's death.
The police chief cited him as "a good example of how one person can create so much violence in our city."
"The people that are responsible for violence in our city are actually a small group of people," Newsham said.
Mayfield was arrested Wednesday after he was suspected of trying to rob a man at gunpoint about 9 a.m. A gun he had when he was arrested linked him to the two other killings, the mayor's office said.
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Bowens died after he was found with multiple gunshot wounds outside a home on the 2200 block of Douglas Street NE. Police responded about 5:15 p.m., and he was pronounced dead.
The next day, Henry died after he was found shot inside a home on the 1800 block of Bryant Street NE.
Detectives are looking at the possibility that Mayfield is responsible for even more violence in the city. He is being held without bond.