WASHINGTON (AP) -- A crowd sprayed with bullets in a drive-by that killed four and wounded five had just returned from the funeral of man slain nearby and a 20-year-old is suspected in both shootings, authorities said Wednesday.
Two men and a 14-year-old boy police said was driving the minivan from which the bullets were fired were charged with first-degree murder in Tuesday night's shooting, the worst in D.C. in at least 16 years.
One of the suspects, Orlando Carter, also has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Jordan Howe. Court documents say Howe was killed nine days earlier over a missing gold-colored bracelet.
On Tuesday, the minivan pulled up to the group of 15 to 20 people in front of an apartment building and stopped briefly. Shots were fired, and the van sped off, police said. Police recovered shell casings from an AK-47 and other weapons at the scene.
Both shootings were in a neighborhood known for drugs and related violence about 7 miles from the White House. As police investigated the latest shooting, friends and relatives of the victims returned to the scene, where a blood-covered gauze package lay on a sidewalk that smelled of bleach. Four teddy bears were placed by steps leading to the apartment building where the crowd had gathered a day earlier.
The owner of the apartment building, William Cheek, said he had just walked across the street to buy a lottery ticket when he heard gunshots about 7:30 p.m. and saw many of the group on the ground. His 20-year-old grandson was among the victims.
"I saw him breathe his last breath," Cheek said, a tear running down his face. "He was shot in the head."
Cheek didn't want to identify his grandson but said he was enrolled in a GED class, played basketball and hoped to become a long-distance bus driver. Court documents identified three of the victims as Brishell Jones, William Jones and Devaughn Boyd.
"They got shot right on my porch," said Cheek, a case manager at a local community center with programs on substance abuse, job training and anger management.
Neighbor Victoria Jones said young people in the area often go to Cheek for support and gather in front of his house. Her 18-year-old son lost his best friend in the shooting.
Carter and Nathaniel Simms, 26, were arraigned and ordered held without bail. The boy also faced a murder charge and a family judge ordered him held at a juvenile facility, saying he was a danger to himself and others and a risk for fleeing. He has nine prior convictions dating to 2005.
Defense lawyers for Carter and Simms argued that court documents didn't list probable cause or what role the two are accused of in the latest shootings.
Carter's brother, Sanquan Carter, who apparently owned the bracelet, was charged with murder in Howe's slaying on March 22, authorities said.
A witness said Orlando Carter was with his brother and was seen shooting a gun at the time of Howe's death, according to court documents.
In Tuesday's shooting, police said they arrested the three after officers chased the silver van into Prince George's County in Maryland and back into Washington and saw an AK-47 type weapon thrown from the van. Other weapons were found inside.
Court documents mention one other person in the van who was not apprehended.
Police said the victims were six men and three women. All were in their 20s and 30s, except for one teenager, officials said.
The D.C. councilman who represents the area, former Mayor Marion Barry, said a dispute between "crews" -- neighborhood groups that are not as organized as gangs -- led to the shooting.
Ross Rauls, 26, said he had been to Howe's funeral and went with a group of friends to a wooded area afterward where they shared memories of their friend. He said he headed to the gym, while the others went to Cheek's building.
"It's sad when the last thing you say to them is 'I'll see you later,"' he said.
He said the young men shot were not gang members.
"They weren't that type of people. It wasn't gang-related," Rauls said. "It's a classic case of the wrong place, the wrong time."
Rico Scott said his cousin, 19-year-old DeVaughn Boyd, was one of those killed.
Boyd was a high school senior who liked to go to the mall and the movies with friends, as well as parties that featured go-go music, a mix of soul, funk and Latin styles, Scott said.
It was at least the worst shooting in D.C. since 1994, when four men fired into a crowd at the O Street Market, killing a teenager and wounding eight other people. A man was convicted of orchestrating the shooting to retaliate against people who had shot him in the stomach and robbed him several weeks earlier. He believed the people who had attacked him often visited the market.
Washington reported 143 homicides last year, the fewest in nearly 50 years.
Associated Press writers Matthew Barakat, Jessica Gresko, Sarah Karush and Brett Zongker contributed to this report.
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