- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 20, 2012

A man was fatally shot Wednesday night in Southeast D.C. during a struggle with a man he was trying to rob, Metropolitan Police Department officials said Thursday.

The shooting happened around 8:20 p.m. in the 4200 block of 1st Street Southeast, in the Bellevue neighborhood next to Bolling Air Force Base.

Police said Thursday that the man killed, 21-year-old Joel Johnson, of Southeast, and another unidentified man tried to force their way into an apartment as the resident came home in an effort to rob the resident. A struggle ensued between the resident and one of the men, during which Johnson was shot. According to police alerts, he was shot in the face.

Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene. Police are still searching for the other man, whom they believe was also armed with a handgun.

Johnson was one of four men arrested in connection with the 2010 killing in Montgomery County of D.C. middle school Principal Brian Betts.

Betts was found fatally shot in an upstairs bedroom of his Silver Spring home after making contact with one of the men on a sex-chat line. Prosecutors said the motive was robbery, and Johnson pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact in connection with the killing.

Three homicides committed in the District in 2012 have been ruled justifiable, Lt. Robert Alder, who oversees the department’s homicide unit, said in an interview earlier this week.