- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A 19-year-old fatally shot over the weekend in Northwest Washington and the 19-year-old arrested for his killing were both wards of the city’s troubled Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), The Washington Times has learned.

Police on Tuesday arrested Kwan Kearney of Northeast and charged him with first degree murder while armed in the shooting death of Jamal Wilson of Northwest.

Multiple sources confirmed for The Times that both men were actively in the custody of the city.

Officers responded at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday for a report of a shooting in the unit block of P Street in Northwest.

There they found Mr. Wilson, of the 100 block of Q Street in Northwest. Court records indicate that Kearney had pleaded guilty in March to unauthorized use of a vehicle and fleeing a police officer, two counts of a nine-count indictment filed in September 2009.

He was given an 18-month sentence with 15 months suspended.

Kearney was sentenced in September for a July 2009 misdemeanor charge of assaulting a police officer. He was sentenced on Sept. 28 to 45 days in jail, a sentence that would have been scheduled to end days before Mr. Wilson’s killing.

Information on Mr. Wilson’s record was not immediately available.

An investigation by The Times revealed that more than one in five homicides in the District between Sept. 1, 2009 and Aug. 31 involved a ward of the city as either a homicide victim or a suspect.

Of the 130 cases during the time period in which homicide victims were publicly identified by police, 14 victims and 15 suspects arrested or charged in the killings were wards of the city.

DYRS is the city’s cabinet-level juvenile justice agency that is assigned the task of administering detention, commitment and aftercare services for youth held under its care in its facilities or residing in the D.C. community.

Interim DYRS Director Robert Hildum issued an agency-wide memo Wednesday addressing what he described as “yet another tragedy” for the agency.