Washington DC

Woman Reacts to Fatal Police Shooting Inside Her Stolen Car in DC

A U.S. Park Police officer "trapped" inside the car shot and killed the teen, and the car crashed into a house in the 300 block of 36th Street NE. 

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A woman discovered over the weekend that a teenager was shot and killed by U.S. Park Police while driving her stolen car in D.C. She spoke to News4 about the chain of events that led to the deadly shooting, and how stunned she was at its violent end.  

A week before the police shooting, Porshia McCullum thought her Hyundai Tucson would be safe parked outside the U.S. Government Publishing Office in Northwest D.C. But upon her return, “the only evidence that I had of the car being parked in the spot that it was, was my window. It was on the ground,” she said. 

McCullum filed a police report and went on social media to ask anyone who’d seen the car to report it. The personalized tags on it made it stand out. 

“I was getting sightings of it all over the city,” McCullum said. 

The day before the fatal shooting, someone had seen it at a gas station. Then on Saturday morning, a friend sent McCullum a Facebook message.

“She thinks she spotted my car in someone’s house. She could see it from 295,” she said. 

McCullum went to the River Terrace neighborhood, where a car could be seen crashed into a home, but “couldn’t match the tag number at the time because it was covered with cardboard.”

Even before authorities confirmed it was hers, what she saw and learned were troubling: someone had been killed in the car she relied on to move her family around, to get to work and school. 

According to U.S. Park Police (USPP), two officers had responded to assist D.C. police with a suspected stolen vehicle on 34th and Baker streets NE at around 8:50 a.m.

They said one officer was “dragged,” and another was “trapped” in the back seat of the vehicle as the driver, identified by family members as 17-year-old Dalaneo Martin, drove away from investigating officers. 

A U.S. Park Police officer fatally shot a 17-year-old in Northeast D.C. on Saturday, according to authorities and family members. News4's Derrick Ward explains what led to the gunfire.

The officer inside the car shot the teen, and the car crashed into the house in the 300 block of 36th Street NE. 

“I really believed that my car was going to be dumped somewhere and that, that was it,” she said. 

She said she realizes the driver who died in the car may not have been the person who stole it – yet he died over it. 

“For someone to actually get killed in the car, it’s sickening,” McCullum said. 

Per policy, the Metropolitan Police Department's Internal Affairs Division will handle the investigation of the shooting.

McCullum – a woman with “two jobs, four kids, single mom, in school” – said she feels empathy over the loss of life, the injuries and the damage caused, but expressed frustration that someone would “just take [the car] and joy ride with it.”

Insurance may only cover the book value, minus what’s still owed on the car.

Right now, the vehicle is evidence and likely a total loss from the damage, but knowing someone died in it, McCullum said she wouldn’t want it back. 

“Due to so many thefts… Uber might be my mode of transportation for a minute,” she said. “I’m terrified.”

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