A man has been charged in two cold case murders in Washington, more than a decade after a 17-year-old boy and 23-year-old man were killed in Northeast D.C.
Terik McLeod, 31, was charged Wednesday in the deaths of Devaun Drayton, 17, and Carlton Fisher, 23.
Drayton was a promising young boxer and the brother of Gary Antuanne Russell, who competed in the 2016 Olympic Summer Games, and Gary Russell Jr., who was a member of the U.S. boxing team in the 2008 Olympic Summer Games.
"I feel devastated," Gary Antuanne Russell told News4 on Friday. "I feel like a part of me is missing and he played a big role in my life."
The teenager was shot and killed March 10, 2004 on the 700 block of 26th Street NE. He had been set to move to Florida the following day to train as a boxer and escape the dangers of D.C., his father Gary Russell Sr. told The Washington Post in a 2006 interview.
When contacted by phone Thursday afternoon, Gary Russell Jr. said his family was struggling to cope with news of the arrest.
Gary Russell Sr. is a former boxer who trained his 11 children in the sport. He used boxing as a tool to keep his boys safe from the dangers of "the streets,” he told Yahoo Sports in a 2014 interview.
Drayton left the D.C. public school system in May 2002 and was enrolled in The Glen Mills Schools, an all-boys boarding school system in Pennsylvania, in 2003, the Post reported.
After Christmas break that year, Drayton did not want to go back to Glen Mills so he stayed at his grandmother’s house. His father was concerned for his son’s safety, so he contacted Milton LaCroix, a boxing coach he knew in Florida. LaCroix told the Post he wanted to get the teen into the 2008 Olympics because he was an incredible boxer.
The coach sent Drayton a plane ticket to arrive in Florida on March 11, but Drayton’s body was found in the parking lot of Phelps Career Senior High School the day before he was scheduled to leave, with a bullet wound to the head.
He was buried with the plane ticket to his new life in his pocket.
Fisher died after he was shot Oct. 1, 2006 on the 1100 block of 21st Street NE, less than a mile away.
McLeod, of Southeast D.C., was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Details on his arrest were not released immediately.
"It makes me feel more secure. Like I said, I wouldn't want a murderer lingering around, knowing that I'm his brother. He probably has some more [vengeance] that he want to do," Gary Antuanne Russell said.
Acting Police Chief Peter Newsham said the two shootings were related, the Post reported. He said cold case detectives had a new witness.
McLeod appeared in court Thursday and was held without bond. He is due in court April 19.
Stay with News4 for more on this developing story.