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Second suspect in shooting near D.C. Caribbean Festival held without bond

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A second man arrested in connection with a fatal shooting near a Caribbean Festival in Northwest last month was ordered held without bond Wednesday in D.C. Superior Court.

Deonte J. Bryant, 20, of Northwest was arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree murder while armed in connection with the fatal shooting of Robert Foster Jr., 43, the Metropolitan Police Department said. Police say a confrontation between rival gangs erupted into a spray of gunfire on June 25 that killed Foster and injured two other innocent bystanders.

At the bond hearing for Mr. Bryant, his attorney Daniel Quillin argued that his client was trying to defend himself when an adversary began shooting at him. Police say that man is Terry Jiminez, 19, who is also charged with second-degree murder.

However a judge said that Mr. Bryant’s actions, which police said were caught on a surveillance camera, indicate he was attempting to do more than just protect himself.

"It's clear to me the defendant had the full intention of engaging Mr. Jiminez and his friends that day," said Judge Diana Haris Epps. "He continued to shoot down the street as Mr. Jiminez and his friends retreated and in the process of doing it struck three innocent victims, one of which lost his life."

When Mr. Jiminez and Mr. Bryant saw each other walking in the 700 block of Gresham Place Northwest shortly after the parade had concluded, the two began posturing and threatening one another, according to police charging documents.

After following the Bryant and two others about halfway up the block, Mr. Jiminez took cover behind a parked car and began firing at the men he had pursued. Two of the men fired back, trapping numerous people in the crossfire between the two groups.

Twelve 9mm shell casings were recovered from the area where Mr. Bryant and one other person were seen shooting and three .45-caliber shell casings were recovered from the area Mr. Jiminez was seen taking cover.

During the gunfire, Mr. Jiminez was also shot and injured.

Two police officers identified Mr. Bryant as the other shooter after watching the surveillance video of the shootout.

According to charging documents, the two officers previously worked at a local Boys and Girls Club, which Mr. Bryant used to regularly visit because he lived across the street from it.

Mr. Bryant was also identified as a ward of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services by sources within the department who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Police said Mr. Jiminez was a member of a neighborhood gang who left the area for Buffalo, N.Y. in February after witnessing the slaying of a close friend in a drive-by shooting for which he was the target. He reappeared in the neighborhood shortly before the Caribbean Festival and parade.

The charging documents say that Mr. Jiminez was the intended target of a Feb. 19 shooting. The incident was the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Cardozo High School student Lucki Nancy Pannell, who was struck outside a house in the 3000 block of Sherman Avenue in Northwest where she lived.

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