Arrest Made in Tourist Homicide Case

Alleged attacker is the same man linked with two other assault cases in the area

The suspect who's been in police custody for allegedly attacking people with a hammer has now been arrested for the death of a Colorado tourist.

Michael Davis, 19, had been ordered held without bond since his initial arrest last month. Police have now also charged him with first-degree murder while armed.

The body of 66-year-old Gary Dederichs was found in an alley in the 800 block of Emerson Street NW on April 24, with his head resting on a fanny pack. He apparently died of severe head trauma.

Dederichs was a nurse who had been visiting D.C. from Denver. He had been renting a basement apartment in Petworth for the two weeks prior to his death.

There were at least four other attacks in the neighborhood in a short period of time. Davis has been linked by police to three of them, including the murder. The other victims suffered trauma to the head, but all survived.

Davis was taken into custody April 26 after police heard a woman calling for help.

"I didn't think nothing of him," that victim told News4's Pat Collins at the time. "I just turned around, I would say, like a second, and he just struck me with something. All I said was please don't hurt me."

Police found a claw hammer in a bag that Davis had dropped as he ran from the scene.

Davis is due for a hearing Friday on his initial charges, two counts of assault with intent to kill while armed.

Contact Us