- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Two teenagers have been charged with first-degree murder in the fatal New Year’s Eve shooting of John Allen Jr., a grandson of former D.C. Council member Sandy Allen.

Police on Tuesday night arrested and charged a 17-year-old boy, whose name is being withheld because he is a juvenile. Early yesterday, Robert Kelsey Jr., 18, of the 1300 block of Fairmont Street Northwest, surrendered to authorities, said Capt. C.V. Morris with the Metropolitan Police Department’s Violent Crimes Branch.

Investigators said they were looking for at least two more suspects in the 15-year-old’s slaying. John was shot while standing with friends on 13th Place Southeast. His death was the last of 195 homicides reported last year in the District.

“It can only be described as a senseless act,” Capt. Morris said, explaining that 17 shots were fired, with one 9 mm bullet hitting the boy in the abdomen.

Police said the gunfire stemmed from an earlier fight in which John was not involved.

“It was a simple fight. Some kids got mad, decided to call somebody to help them out, and then we’ve got gunplay,” Capt. Morris said.

“We don’t believe [John] was a target. We’re thinking it was another group that may have been there, or he may have been a part of that group that were the targets.”

The teens gave information about the shooting but did not confess, Capt. Morris said, and the search continues for the shooter. The suspects are being held in jail, he said, partly because they could become victims of “street justice” if released.

John was shot about 1:15 p.m. Saturday in the 3400 block of 13th Place Southeast, not far from his home in the 3300 block of 14th Place Southeast. He was pronounced dead at 10:30 p.m. at Howard University Hospital.

Two other members of Mrs. Allen’s family have been involved in shootings.

Mrs. Allen’s son, who is John’s father, was grazed on the forehead in an apparent drive-by shooting that wounded four others in the same block of 13th Place Southeast in September 2003.

During the summer, another of Mrs. Allen’s grandsons, Russell Mitchell, 18, was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of a Southeast woman killed by what police said was a stray bullet.

Police said a dark-blue or purple minivan approached John and his friends, and a man wearing a dark coat and dark pants got out of the vehicle and began firing. The shooter then got back into the van, carrying two or three other passengers, as it sped away.

Witnesses provided police with most of the information, but police said they are viewing a videotape of the shooting. Capt. Morris would not disclose the source of the video.

Police ask anyone with information to call 202/727-9099.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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