Police arrest 18-year-old suspect in fatal Fourth of July Metro stabbing

A teenager accused of killing a man on a Metro train on July 4 is now in custody.

D.C. police say 18-year-old Jasper Spires attacked 24-year-old Kevin Sutherland, a recent graduate of American University, on Saturday afternoon during an apparent robbery on a Red Line train near the NoMa-Gallaudet Metro station.

According to police, Sutherland sustained fatal stab wounds on the train and was already dead when paramedics arrived.

A family member of the victim says the attack may have been over an iPhone.

On Monday morning, Spires' picture was plastered throughout the NoMa-Gallaudet Metro stop wanted for murder. Police arrested him on Georgia Avenue in Northwest D.C. for what Metro says is the first murder on a Metro train in the transit agency's history.

Spires is charged with first-degree murder while armed in Sutherland's death. He is due in court on Tuesday.

The attack happened no more than 36 hours after Spires was arrested for robbery and assault last Thursday on Wisconsin Avenue in Northwest D.C. The 18-year-old pulled a broken wine bottle on a man before pushing him up against a wall and going through his pockets, according to police.

According to court documents, Spires in this incident asked a complainant, "What do you have in your pockets?" The report says Spires charged against the complainant and then put his arms around his neck.

But the charges for robbery were dropped and downgraded to two misdemeanors for assault. When Spires got to court, charges were reduced to misdemeanor assault and assault on a police officer. After a review of the case and the suspect's criminal history, which was minimal, the judge let him go on his personal recognizance.

The U.S. Attorney's Office sent FOX 5 a statement saying, "The offense of robbery requires that something of value be taken from the victim. Here, according to the police, nothing was taken from the victim.

“Those charges could not have resulted in the detention of this defendant, who had a minimal criminal history."

We checked Spires’ criminal history and could only find two other incidents that happened in Maryland for trespassing and failure to pay a Metro fare.

Sutherland worked as a political digital strategist for New Blue Interactive. He grew up in Connecticut and interned on Capitol Hill for Congressman Jim Himes before graduating from American University in 2013.

The Fourth of July was supposed to be an afternoon holiday celebration with friends, but instead turned into his last living moments. His roommate said he cooked breakfast, packed for an impending trip to Philadelphia and hopped on the Metro train.

Witness accounts suggest Sutherland and those around him waited for help for ten minutes as the train's doors opened and then closed as the suspect was able to escape.

Later this week, Sutherland will be laid to rest in his home state of Connecticut.

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