- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Southeast teenager has been charged as an adult in Saturday’s fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy at the Deanwood Metro station, a slaying that occurred over “nothing,” police said.

Maurice Bellamy, 17, was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder while armed and ordered to be held in jail.

He is to appear in court on April 22.

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

About 4 p.m. Saturday, Davonte Washington, 15, was standing on the platform of the Deanwood station in Northeast with his mother and two sisters when the suspect approached him, police said. There was a brief exchange of words before the suspect opened fire, killing Davonte, who suffered two gunshot wounds to the torso.

No motive has been offered for the killing. Chief 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.

Metro Transit Police Chief Ronald A. Pavlik said one of the many surveillance cameras that dot the subway system captured an image of the shooting suspect.

“It was good police work and good use of resources,” Chief Pavlik said at a press conference with Chief Lanier.

Chief Lanier said the closed-circuit cameras cover every corner of the Metro system and helped police identify and capture the suspect.

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

Metro employs more than 5,000 surveillance cameras in its rail system. Cameras also are located inside and outside all 1,500 Metro buses. And every new railcar is camera-equipped, according to Metro spokeswoman Morgan Dye.

Meanwhile, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld has taken several steps over the last month to quell fears about violence in the subway system.

In late February the transit agency increased by 5 percent the number of police officers patrolling the rail system when it reassigned 17 officers to patrols.

Those officers formerly acted as a protective escort when money was being taken out of Metro fare card vending machines. A private firm now will take over those duties.

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.

Those officers now wear high-visibility vests or casual clothes and are equipped with police radios to summon on-duty officers when needed.

The agency announced March 11 that, starting this summer, officers on station platforms and trains will be wearing uniforms with bright-yellow accents so riders can identify them more easily.

The neon yellow design with reflective trim will replace the navy blue uniform that Metro said can be hard to see in a crowd or in low light.

“Customers told me they wanted to see more uniformed officers on buses and in the rail system,” Mr. Wiedefeld said in a release. “The fact is, in some cases, riders sometimes couldn’t see MTPD officers even though they were there. These new uniforms will go a long way toward making our officers stand out and give customers some more peace of mind when riding Metro.”

In addition, Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans said that Metro Transit Police will be bringing on two new classes of officers from the training academy in April and September. He also said Metro police will be working with the Metropolitan Police Department to increase the number of applications for the transit system force of about 470 police officers.

In the meantime Metro police are using “overtime, schedule adjustments and CompStat technology to help make the officers we do have present throughout the system,” said Mr. Evans, a Ward 2 Democrat on the D.C. Council.

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