According to D.C. police, the suspect then ran off, leaving two young children in the back seat of the car.
The wife of 47-year-old Jamal Butler tells FOX 5 the car the suspect was driving and abandoned with children inside, was actually her husband’s stolen vehicle.
Dominique Butler told FOX 5 over the phone, the car was outside of their home when they went to bed on Sunday – and missing Monday morning.
Dominique Butler said the two dropped-off their 2-year-old at daycare, Jamal Butler dropped his wife off to work – and then he went looking for his car.
The crime scene unfolded on the busy section of Benning Rd. NE near 45th St. NE a little after 9:30 a.m. – during the morning rush. The jeep had rear-ended the Honda.
"The detectives’ investigation revealed that this offense began as a dispute between the decedent and the suspect over the suspect’s possession of the decedent’s vehicle," a police press release read.
"He was very compassionate and loving. He was able to really build strong relationships with people quickly. So he probably thought like he could leverage it, right? Like if I see somebody with the car I can either get the car or like it’ll be fine. I can figure this out. And um –I think it just -- it didn’t work out that he was," said Dominique Butler, who also told FOX 5 her husband once offered work to rake leaves or move furniture instead of calling police on a group of kids they suspected had broken into one of their vehicles.
Police arrested and charged 22-year-old Malik Williams of Capitol Heights, Md. with second-degree murder while armed. Williams did not appear for a Wednesday arraignment. FOX 5 was told he is still in the hospital. We reached out to the D.C. Jail and Marshall’s office seeking more information on why Williams needs treatment. A police spokesperson was unaware the suspect was taken to the hospital on Wednesday.
For the suspect, the now grieving widow tearfully told FOX 5, "I don’t know why he did it but I forgive him because I can’t have that type of bitterness in my heart. I don’t know what type of situation it was. I don’t know like the cards that life had dealt him or why he didn’t have the things that he needed, but I wish- I wish that he could’ve made better decisions. I wish my husband would’ve - would’ve like trusted that police could’ve found the car."
Butler says her husband worked for DC Housing Authority for almost two decades. He started a transportation company about five or six years ago, where people knew Jamal Butler as "Denzel the Driver."
A spokesperson for DCHA the Executive Director did not issue a statement yet but did confirm Jamal Butler spent 15-years working as a Maintenance Mechanic, assigned to their Kentucky Courts property.
Butler leaves behind three children.