WASHINGTON - A teenager was fatally stabbed in the neck at the Deanwood Metro station just after 11 a.m. on Monday.
A Metro train pulled into the Deanwood station and as passengers were heading down to the street, police and witnesses said a man pulled out a sharp object and stabbed 15-year-old John Rufus Evans III, of Northeast D.C., several times in the neck.
Police are looking for person of interest connected with this fatal stabbing. He is described as a black male between 14 to 20 years old with a medium complexion, medium build and having dreadlocks and braces. He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a black jacket.
Police said the assault happened very quickly and the suspect ran from the Metro station.
"It's very troubling,” said D.C. Police Assistant Chief Peter Newsham. “Folks who travel on the Metro all the time want to feel safe and the good news, if there is any good news in this, is that in all likelihood, we are going to be able to close this case because of the security system that Metro has here. The bad news is we lost another young person in our city to violence.”
Sources close to the investigation said surveillance video from the scene have been reviewed and they confirm there was a brief altercation before it ended in a fatal stabbing. They also said Evans had a court appearance just before the stabbing.
Leroy Ware said he taught at Evans’ middle school and spotted him with another teenager at the Metro station at around 8:30 a.m. Monday.
“I turned around and he spoke and said, ‘Hi Mr. Ware’ and I was like, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’” Ware recalled. “And I said, ‘Aren't you supposed to be in school?’ I didn’t know what was going on. I thought maybe he was transitioning, going back into school.”
A number of riders witnessed the incident at the Metro station. A witness who just got off a train told FOX 5 that the victim's brother was with him at the time of the stabbing.
"[Another woman] said it was a guy who was coming down the escalator and she heard someone else say, 'Go ahead,' said the witness. "And when the guy said, 'Go ahead,' she sees a dude walk up behind and poked him two times in his neck. I see his body lying right there and I just saw a guy trying to like pump him. I didn't know that was his brother until I asked him.
"When I saw him, he was lying there and there was a girl holding a phone towards his mouth because I guess he was on the phone with the ambulance. Then there was another guy, he had a phone and he was recording, so he was still pumping him. But there was no Metro Transit [Police] at the time."
This incident comes only a few weeks after a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed at the Deanwood Metro station.
As word spread that another teenager had been murdered at the station, politicians, activists and people running for office converged on the scene.
Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander said she was campaigning in the area Monday morning and was dismayed to see no patrolling police officers.
"I don't know what to make of the people committing these crimes,” said Alexander. “I really can’t tell you about that. There is something much deeper to that. But what I do know is that it is in indicator that Metro police really should have more increased presence here. They said after the first tragic incident that they would and I was actually out here this morning and I didn't see any additional presence.”
Former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray came out to the scene Monday evening and spoke with concerned residents.
“We've had two murders in less than two weeks, but we've also had people in fights, brutality, we've had other issues that have occurred at that Metro station,” he said. “Metro has got to step up and tell people, especially here in Ward 7, exactly what they are going to do to make people feel safer.”
Gray said there needs to be a stern approach to end the violence.
“I almost feel like we need metal detectors for people going into Metro stations at this stage, so you know what these people are carrying,” Gray said. “There has got to be some putting your foot down and saying, ‘I'm sorry. This is not going to happen anymore.’”
D.C. police are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this crime. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 202-727-9099 or submitting tips anonymously to the department's text tip line at 50411.