Man charged with murder after barricading himself inside burning DC apartment building

The man D.C. Police believe is responsible for the Monday barricade and fire situation in Southeast D.C. is now facing a murder charge.

An MPD press release issued on Tuesday says 45-year-old Sherman Holley was arrested for the stabbing death of 53-year-old James Brooks. Neither man has a fixed address, according to the police press release. However, a police report connects the victim to Greenbelt, Maryland. 

The report also states Brooks sustained multiple severe lacerations to the chest and shoulder.

D.C. Police first responded to the 200 block of 37th Place SE shortly before 7:30 Sunday evening for the report of a man stabbed. FOX 5 was told the barricade situation and fire unfolded in that same area the next day after D.C. police said investigators went back to the scene likely to question witnesses and make an arrest.

READ MORE: 1 in custody after crews battle fire at scene of barricade in southeast DC

The fire was reported at an apartment at around 2:40 p.m. in the 200 block of 37th Place SE. The scene lasted over an hour. 

Police say the suspect was taken to the hospital after being taken into custody. It’s not clear yet how the suspect and victim knew one another. FOX 5 has learned that a woman living in the home that was set on fire uses oxygen tanks. It’s not clear whether that woman is okay or how she knew the suspect.

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"Everybody affected is going to have to deal with this for the rest of their lives," said Jamilya Osborne, who cried as she spoke with FOX 5 on Tuesday. "This is a memory that nobody is going to forget. Osborne says her family grew up in the home next door, which was also destroyed in the fire.

"My niece that’s 8 years old is in a wheelchair. She’s learning how to walk. So her walker, her wheelchair, everything is gone."

"[Her] nebulizer, different medications, everything is gone," she added.

The family created a GoFundMe account to help her two younger sisters and two nieces (8 and 2 years old), who were all displaced in the Monday fire. The family also lost pets and all of their mother’s belongings, whom FOX 5 was told passed away in 2018.

The family is devastated they may not be able to get a cat back. The animal was given to the Humane Rescue Alliance, so they could get their pet immediate care, according to the family.

D.C. Fire and EMS told FOX 5 no arson charges have been filed yet, but the fire investigation continues.

Holley was still in the hospital on Tuesday. Authorities said he is expected to appear for arraignment at D.C. Superior Court once he is released.