Child Slaying Suspect Hangs Self at DC Jail

Man accused of shooting 9-year-old through apartment door

A man suspected in the death of a 9-year-old boy was found hanged at the DC Jail Wednesday afternoon.

Josue Peña, 26, was charged with first-degree murder last week. He was accused of the shooting death of 9-year-old Oscar Fuentes.

D.C. Fire and EMS paramedics found responded to a report of a man who had hanged himself in his cell at about 1 p.m. Wednesday. Peña was transported to Howard University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:53 p.m., according to the D.C. Department of Corrections.

Oscar was shot and killed through the front door of his family's Columbia Heights apartment Nov. 14.

Peña grabbed an elderly man by the hair in an attempted robbery, witnesses said. Oscar and family members then encountered Pena as they arrived home from a baby shower. Pena allegedly threatened them -- "Your money or your life" -- and the family ran into their apartment and locked the door behind them.

Peña is accused of firing a shot through the door and striking Oscar, who was looking through the peephole.

Peña was arrested a couple days later in Hyattsville, Md. Investigators found the murder weapon in a Northwest house where some of Peña's relatives live, police said.

Residents of the Columbia Heights apartment building said it is controlled by gang members, who collect extra rent from the tenants. Peña was an associate of MS-13, District officials said.

Contact Us