- The Washington Times - Monday, September 27, 2004

A 13-year-old boy was fatally shot in the District yesterday morning while skipping school, becoming the District’s 21st juvenile to be slain this year.

Michael Swann of 2645 Douglas Road SE was discovered at about 10:30 a.m., lying in the hallway outside a friend’s apartment on 2671 Douglas Road SE with gunshot wounds to his upper torso. Police said there were two gunshot wounds, although one of the apartment’s residents who saw Michael’s body said she saw only one — in his chest.

Michael, whose nicknames were “Jughead” and “Juicehead” because of his lanky frame, was taken to Prince George’s Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead at 11:30 a.m.

Several witnesses said Michael was shot in the street outside the apartment and then staggered inside.

Police said they questioned several witnesses and had a few leads about the killer’s identity.

Neighbors said Michael had two younger sisters and one older sister. Residents in the Washington View neighborhood, where former D.C. Mayor and council nominee Marion S. Barry lives, said they did not know why anyone would shoot a child like Michael, who was described as respectful, a jokester and a good kid.

Neighbors and friends also said Michael did not regularly skip classes at Johnson Junior High School.

But Sherrie McGrier, 30, a mother of seven who lives in the building where Michael was found, said youths from the nearby Wellington Park neighborhood often feud with Washington View youths, particularly after pickup basketball and football games. Michael died outside the apartment of a 17-year old-friend, who was shot by Wellington Park youths two years ago.

Octavia Johnson, 16, saw Michael at 8:15 a.m., when he was coming back from the store with two friends.

“He never did nothing to nobody,” Octavia said. “Everybody loved Jug. Ain’t nobody going to be here to make us laugh no more. Ain’t nothing going to be the same.”

Last year, 12 youths died violently in the District; 16 were killed in 2002.

At 10:50 p.m. on Saturday, 16-year-old Ashley F. Walker of the 900 block of Valley Avenue SE was discovered fatally shot in a stolen vehicle in the 5300 block of Southern Avenue SE. No arrests had been made in that case as of yesterday.

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