gun violence

Man Charged With Killing Girlfriend in DC Cites Accident With Gun

Talaya Campbell's mother said her daughter and suspect Jereal Booker had a volatile relationship

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A 21-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend, 18-year-old Talaya Campbell, in Northwest D.C.

Campbell was fatally shot Friday afternoon inside a home in the 500 block of Irving Street NW. Over the weekend, police arrested her boyfriend, 21-year-old Jereal Booker.

Booker told detectives that he and Campbell were playing with a gun in the basement of the home on Irving Street when the gun accidentally went off. 

Campbell was shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene. 

According to court documents, Booker and Campbell had just finished smoking a cigarette when they went back inside the house. 

Booker’s father said that moments later, he heard a gunshot. He told police that he did not hear an exchange of words or anything that would indicate the two were arguing before the shot was fired. 

When he got to the basement, he found his son with a gun in his hand, standing over Campbell’s body.


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"Daddy, I shot her," Booker told his father, according to the arrest warrant.

Booker allegedly threw the gun behind a mini fridge and ran from the house. 

His father called him multiple times, begging Booker to turn himself in. During those conversations, Booker never denied shooting Campbell, police said.

Booker’s family told police the couple had spent the previous night together and everything seemed normal. But three weeks before the shooting, the 21-year-old allegedly threatened to shoot his father, Campbell and himself. 

When police challenged his claim that the shooting was an accident, Booker stopped talking. 

Campbell’s mother told News4 that the couple had a volatile relationship. Despite telling Booker to leave her daughter alone, Campbell’s mother says the couple struggled to stay away from each other.  

Booker remained in jail Tuesday. He’s being held without bond as he awaits his next court date. 

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