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D.C. fatal shooting involved two DYRS wards

- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 18, 2011

A homicide in Northwest Washington on Wednesday involved at least two youths who were in the custody of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), according to D.C. Council member Jim Graham's office. Mr. Graham chairs the committee in charge of DYRS oversight.

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department's Homicide Branch are investigating the fatal shooting, which occurred in the 2600 block of University Place on Wednesday at approximately 1:39 a.m., police officials said. Units responding from the police department's 3rd District arrived to find 19-year-old Osman Al-Akbar of Northwest lying in the street suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel determined the victim had no signs of life, and he was later pronounced dead by a member of the medical examiner's office.

On Thursday, Mr. Graham's office confirmed reports from DYRS that Mr. Al-Akbar had been committed to its custody. A spokesman for the agency had no comment.

Soon after the shooting, police stopped two suspects in connection with the homicide. They later charged 19-year-old Rashid Caviness-Bey of Northwest and a 15-year old male from Capitol Heights with first-degree felony murder while armed and carrying a pistol without a license.

Mr. Graham's office also on Thursday confirmed that Mr. Caviness-Bey was under DYRS commitment at the time of the homicide. Police have declined to identify the 15-year-old because he is a juvenile.

Mr. Graham is out of town and was unavailable to comment.

DYRS has been plagued by a pattern of crimes committed by and against youths under its supervision in recent years. In a 2010 series, The Washington Times examined a year's worth of data and found that one in five killings in the District involved a youth in the custody of the city as either a victim or a suspect.

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