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More DYRS scrutiny after Halloween shooting victim dies

Two unrelated murder suspects also ID’d as DYRS wards

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A 17-year-old D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services ward who was shot on Halloween night in Georgetown has died, officials said Tuesday.

The Metropolitan Police Department confirmed that Tyronn Vincent Garner, one of six people shot in five incidents Halloween night, died Monday evening from his injuries. Tyronn had been in critical condition since being shot in the midst of Halloween festivities on M Street in Georgetown.

After the shooting, police officers pursued a 24-year-old man seen running away from the area and arrested him when a gun was found in his possession. However, charges related to the shooting have not been brought against the man, and police spokeswoman Officer Tisha Gant said Tuesday that Tyronn's death remains an "open case."

Multiple sources within DYRS confirmed that Tyronn, who The Washington Times identified in a previous article as Tyrone Garner, was under the agency's watch.

A D.C. Superior Court judge recommended that Tyronn be placed at a secure residential treatment center in Pennsylvania that specializes in hard-to-place juvenile populations, said DYRS sources who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

But DYRS officials placed him at New Beginnings, the District's detention and rehabilitation center in Laurel. The move apparently angered Judge Milton C. Lee Jr., who on Sept. 30 vacated the youth's commitment and placed him on probation with Court Social Services, the sources said.

The circumstances leading to Tyronn's death are expected to come under additional scrutiny as D.C. Council member Jim Graham, chairman of the Committee on Human Services, which has oversight of DYRS, said he has requested transcripts of Tyronn's commitment and revocation hearings.

Mr. Graham said Tuesday that the court has agreed to disclose Tyronn's DYRS file and the transcripts on an expedited basis.

"It's important to shine a light on this," he said.

Mr. Graham said his preliminary review of the matter has shown that Judge Lee revoked Tyronn's commitment because the judge did not think that adequate alcohol and drug services were available at that facility.

Yet the judge's decision to allow Tyronn to be placed on probation and released into the community left questions about the provision of those services elsewhere, Mr. Graham said, noting that he has been a consistent advocate for drug- and alcohol-treatment services for youthful offenders.

According to D.C. Code, judges can make recommendations on a juvenile's placement if the judge commits the youth to the city, but the DYRS has the ultimate authority over where the youth will be placed.

Judge Lee declined to comment Tuesday on Tyronn's case.

Tyronn, of Southeast, is the only person of the six shot on Halloween whose injuries were fatal.

Adding to troubles that the DYRS faces, sources have also identified two other DYRS wards charged with murder within the past week.

The recently arrested DYRS wards are Henry Diaz-Antunuez, 19, of Northwest, and Michael Jordan, 18, of Northeast.

Diaz-Antunuez was arrested Nov. 2 and charged with second-degree murder in the July shooting of David Eduardo Gonzalez, 23.

Jordan was one of three men arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the October shooting of Howard University freshman Alonzo James Guyton, 24. Prince George's County police, who are investigating Guyton's death, think the shooting happened during a robbery in Mount Rainier.

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