DC robbery victim wrestled gun from suspect, killed him

As FOX 5's Emily Miller reports, the suspect was a career criminal.

- A weekend triple shooting in Northeast D.C. appears to be a case of self-defense from a robbery.

Four people were walking in the 700 block of H Street around 1 a.m. Saturday when a man identified as Jerome Wright held them up at gunpoint. But according to a source close to the investigation, one of the victims fought back.

In the struggle, two of the robbery victims were shot. One of them, after being hit in the chest, managed to wrestle the gun from Wright and fatally shot him.

Police did not identify the robbery victims, but said they are expected to survive.

“It’s a justifiable homicide, but the issue is it could have been very tragic the other way,” said Sgt. Delroy Burton of the D.C. Police Union.

FOX 5 has learned that Wright was a career criminal. He just spent five years in jail on felony robbery and other charges. He got out of a halfway house in June. By September, he was back out selling drugs on H Street.

Less than a month ago, Wright was arrested for selling crack cocaine. According to court documents, police put him in the back of their wagon, but he busted out, assaulted the cop and then made a run for it.

Police found Wright at a home after a six-hour manhunt. Upon searching the home, police found bolt cutters, handcuffs, and he had cut off all of his dreadlocks.

Wright was sent back to jail. He was held for a week in September for violating parole, but a judge had no choice but to release him.

“That’s the frustration of the officers. A guy with a record like that should not have been released in the first place. Even though our rules tend to lean towards release, he met all the criteria to be held, and he wasn't held,” said Burton.

Two weeks later, Wright was at it again. But luckily, his latest victims survived. The police union blames the courts and careless judges.

“He’s already been given a bunch of chances, and that person is still out here violating the law. We need to err on the side of caution and protect society from people like that and keep them in jail,” Burton said.

“The judge granted the prosecutor’s one hold request, which led to Mr. Wright being held for five days so that the Parole Commission could file to revoke his release.  The Commission did not file such a request, and at the hearing five days later, there was thus no legal authority to detain Mr. Wright, so the prosecutor did not request further detention and the judge ordered him released,” said Leah Gurowitz, D.C. Superior Court spokesperson.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. said that Wright could not continue to be held based on his parole violation unless the Parole Commission took action against him.
 
By September 14th, the Parole Commission had not acted so the court had to release Wright.
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