Witness takes photos of gunman, leads to arrest in shooting of innocent bystander

A December shooting is making news -- not because of an arrest or a development in court -- but for the actions of a quick-thinking witness who bravely snapped some photos at the scene.

A court affidavit filed this week says seven photos taken by a person with a cell phone helped investigators identify the shooter, a teenager who allegedly shot and critically wounded an innocent bystander in Southeast D.C.

Dane Horton Jr. is still hospitalized nearly three months after he was shot in the face while standing near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Howard Road, SE. He is partially paralyzed and cannot walk.

Police have made an arrest in the case, but it may not have happened if not for a witness who was sitting in a car nearby.

Horton's family didn't know about that witness until FOX 5 told them on Friday and now they would like nothing more than to say thanks.

Just before 3 p.m. last December 10th, D.C police say cameras mounted on the outside of the Thurgood Marshall Academy on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and one across the street at the MLK Grocery recorded video of three men leaving a barber shop tracking a man they wanted to shoot.

Nearby sitting behind the wheel of a car in the intersection of MLK and Howard Road, a witness watched as one of the men pulled a silver handgun and opened fire.

According to a search warrant affidavit, that witness grabbed a cell phone and began taking photos of the men running away. Seven of them that would ultimately help police connect the dots and make an arrest.

"I'm amazed, totally amazed that they had the wherewithal to continuously take the pictures," said Dane Horton Sr. "I'm really excited about it and hope and pray to God they catch the other two people."

Horton's son, Dane Jr., who goes by Tony, is still hospitalized and unable to leave his bed.

The bullet from a .380 handgun hit him in the face and caused tremendous damage to the arteries on the right side of his face.

"They had to wire his jaw shut," his father said. "They had to reconstruct the entire part of his lower jaw. They had to reconstruct the lower jaw where the bullet went in so they had to put new dental implants in and everything."

Horton thinks his son was heading to the bus at the Anacostia Metro station when he was shot, and now he and his brother Keenan would like to thank the witness who put aside his or her own safety to take those pictures.

"This person stood there and took the pictures," said Dane Horton. "That's one of the bravest people I know."

"Like my brother," said Keenan Horton, "I do forgive the guy who shot him and just happy that we do have some good citizens in this town."

Dane Horton said he would now like to connect with the witness who took those photos.

"I would love to have them call me and have dinner with me and my family and thank this person," he said.

The affidavit says investigators compared the witness's photos with video from the cameras to determine if a teenager police took into custody shortly after the shooting was the person they were looking for.

So far, police have only made one arrest. He has been identified as 19-year-old Lamont Street of Southeast D.C.

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for next week.

Horton said his son needs nursing care 24 hours a day and will likely be hospitalized for months to come.

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