Men suspected in the fatal shooting of an 11-year-old boy in D.C. on July Fourth had what police called “neighborhood beefs” with each other and had been linked to previous shootings and homicides.
Court documents lay out how police were able to identify at least four men suspected in the death of Davon McNeal.
Suspect Daryle Bond, 18, appeared in court Friday afternoon and pleaded not guilty.
Sources tell News4 a second suspect, 22-year-old Christian Wingfield of Hillcrest Heights, Maryland, was arrested Friday in Alexandria. Three additional suspects are still sought.
McNeal, the young son of a violence interruptor, had just stepped out of his mother’s car in the 1400 block of Cedar Street SE when gunfire erupted. They had just held an anti-violence cookout in the neighborhood they moved out of because it was too dangerous. McNeal was shot in the head.
The Metropolitan Police Department had assigned a 24-hour detail to the block where McNeal was killed because of a shooting the previous week, court documents say. An officer was in the area on July 4 but was called away to another incident just minutes before the gunfire began.
The arrest affidavits say at least four men were part of warring “crews” operating in Southeast.
“Recent violence between these crews has resulted in several shootings and homicides,” the documents say.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday that she was heartbroken by McNeal’s death. She said she knew detectives would find there was no reason for anyone to fire the shot that killed the child.
“I guarantee you when we find out what this is about, it’s going to be about nothing,” she said with disgust in her voice.
The men were arrested and others are sought after investigators spoke with several witnesses and reviewed extensive surveillance footage from the area. Detectives found more than a dozen shell casings from five guns.
D.C. Chief of Police Peter Newsham and Bowser announced Bond’s arrest Thursday evening. He was arrested earlier that day and charged with premeditated first-degree murder while armed. Other men are still at large, face the same charge and should be considered armed and dangerous.
“We will not tolerate this violence,” Bowser said Thursday. “Davon should be with his family today.”
The suspects are 19-year-old Carlo General and 25-year-old Marcel Gordon, both of Southeast D.C. Police are working to secure an arrest warrant for an additional suspect.
“Not surprisingly, all three of these suspects had gun-related criminal history,” Newsham said.
General and Wingfield were arrested in the spring because they were found with guns though they had felonies on their records. Wingfield had been under orders to obey a curfew and had had a GPS device cut off shortly before the killing.
Court documents say his GPS device showed he was at the scene of the crime. The device was later found discarded.
About an hour after officials announced Bond’s arrest, hundreds of people shouted “Davon” at a vigil held in the middle-schooler’s honor. Members of his youth football team wore the team’s colors, black and orange, and released balloons into the sky. Some balloons made the shape of a three, the number on McNeal’s jersey.
His mother, Crystal McNeal, took the microphone.
“We love y’all. Davon is with me right now. My son is right here beside me,” she said.
A teammate of McNeal also spoke.
“When I heard the news that Davon was shot, I was hurt. I couldn’t stop crying,” he said.
Bond was held without bond and is due in court in August. He has a son, the public learned in court on Friday.
Contact police if you have information on the crime or the suspects’ whereabouts. A reward of as much as $25,000 is available.