- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The “senseless” slayings of two teenagers at the Deanwood Metro station in the past three weeks have prompted Metro Transit and D.C. police to increase patrols at the subway stop in Northeast, officials said Tuesday.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, Metropolitan Police Assistant Chief Peter Newsham said his department will add patrols at the Deanwood station, calling Monday’s fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old boy there “another senseless murder.”

“We have worked with Metro to make sure we have an increased presence throughout our system,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said at the press conference.

Late Monday, Metropolitan Police arrested Jovante Hall, 18, of Northeast, in connection with the slaying of John Rufus Evans III about 10 hours after the 15-year-old had been fatally stabbed at the subway station. Mr. Hall was charged with second-degree murder while armed.

Chief Newsham said Metro Transit Police found John unconscious and suffering from a stab wound to the neck. The teenager was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Tips from the community and footage from surveillance cameras at the station helped police quickly make an arrest by providing indications that John and Mr. Hall had known each other and had an ongoing dispute, the assistant chief said.

SEE ALSO: D.C. police: Man fatally stabbed at Deanwood Metro, station closed during investigation

The two teens ended up in the same railcar by “happenstance,” and the situation escalated, Chief Newsham said.

Monday’s incident resembles another slaying at Deanwood late last month. Police said Davonte Washington, 15, was standing on the station’s platform on March 26, when the suspect approached him. They exchanged words, and the suspect opened fire on Davonte, who died of two gunshot wounds to the torso.

Maurice Bellamy, 17, has been charged with second-degree murder while armed in the killing and is to appear in court on April 22.

No motive for the killing has been offered. Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said there is no reason to believe the two boys knew each other, but also said she doesn’t think the shooting was random.

“Of all the tragic things that we see when it comes to violence, nothing is more senseless than this case, in my opinion,” Chief Lanier said Tuesday. “There’s no reason for it.”

Ms. Bowser noted that disputes between teenagers have become more violent, sometimes lethal, saying: “These are not schoolyard incidents. These are real-life altercations.”

SEE ALSO: DEBORAH SIMMONS: Genocide in Washington D.C.

Though police are planning more patrols, Chief Newsham said that might not have prevented Monday’s homicide.

“It happened in an instant,” he said. “It’s hard to say if an officer was there if they could have prevented it.”

Metro Transit Police Chief Ronald A. Pavlik said one of the many surveillance cameras that dot the subway system captured an image of March’s shooting suspect as well as Monday’s stabbing suspect, and those helped close both cases quickly.

“There is no place in our Metro system that you won’t get captured on camera,” Chief Lanier said.

Metro operates more than 5,000 surveillance cameras in the subway. Cameras also are located inside and outside all 1,500 Metrobuses. Every new railcar also is camera-equipped, according to Metro spokeswoman Morgan Dye.

Long plagued by concerns about violence, Metro increased by 5 percent the number of officers patrolling the system in late February, when it reassigned 17 officers to patrols.

Metro also has implemented “power hour” deployments, which surge the number of officers in the late afternoon and evening hours by having shifts overlap, and reassigned limited-duty officers to increase numbers at the most crime-ridden stations.

• Ryan M. McDermott can be reached at rmcdermott@washingtontimes.com.

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