An 18-year-old ward of the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services recently told staff at a juvenile detention facility he shot a senior-level agency administrator last year, according to agency documents and high-ranking union officials who represent DYRS workers.
In March 2011, The Washington Times first reported that Jeffrey Earl McInnis, former superintendent of the Youth Services Center, the 88-bed secure facility for youths accused of crimes, had been taken to Howard University Hospital and treated for a gunshot wound to his arm in the early morning hours — an incident not reported by DYRS Director Neil Stanley to his staff until questions were raised nine days later by The Times.
In an email to DYRS staff, Mr. Stanley described the incident as a “suspected robbery,” but internal DYRS documents show that Perry C. White of Southeast told “youth and staff” at the Youth Services Center that “he was the one who shot Jeff McInnis.”
Although the documents state that Mr. White alluded to “terrible things” as his motive, he “never elaborated and was not questioned by staff to explain further.”
DYRS officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Mr. White, who according to DYRS records had fled from custody during the time Mr. McInnis was shot, has had multiple run-ins with the law. An Aug. 16 criminal filing states he was arrested in July and charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana after he was caught with $250 in cash, drugs, paraphernalia and digital scales and was accompanied by someone in possession of PCP and cocaine.
A bench warrant for his arrest was issued Sept. 27 after he failed to appear for a court-mandated status hearing in the case.
In a separate criminal filing, Mr. White was charged with gun possession and an assault on his sister, Tonica Perrika McGrier, according to court records. A stay-away order was issued Sept. 13, and Mr. White was ordered to report on a weekly basis to pretrial services. After failing to comply, a separate bench warrant was issued Sept. 28, the records state.
It is unclear exactly when Mr. White was arrested recently, but high-ranking officials with the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents DYRS staff, said he was first taken to DC Jail and then transferred to the Youth Services Center, where he reportedly told staff and other youths that he shot Mr. McInnis.
It also remains unclear what happened the night Mr. McInnis was shot. The original police report states that shortly after 4 a.m., Mr. McInnis was pumping gas at a Shell station on Rhode Island Avenue Northeast when a black male between the ages of 20 and 25, approximately 5 feet 7 inches and of medium build, approached him from the driver’s side of his car “and began to shoot.” Court records describe Mr. White as a black male, 6 feet tall and 160 pounds.
Mr. McInnis escaped and drove to a different Shell station on South Dakota Avenue Northeast and asked the clerk to call the police because he had been shot, the report states. Mr. McInnis then got into his car and drove to a construction company parking lot behind the gas station, where he waited until police arrived.
Metropolitan Police Department officials said they could not comment on the status of the case because it was an open investigation.
It appears the biggest break in the case has come from Mr. White. His lawyer, Ada K. Chan, declined to discuss her client or his criminal history. When told by a reporter there were questions about Mr. McInnis, she replied, “I can’t discuss any of that.”