Deadly shooting underscores problem of released repeat offenders

WASHINGTON — D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier warned earlier this year of gaps in the system that allow too many repeat violent offenders on the streets.

Repeat offenders are big contributors to crime in the city, and a deadly shooting last week underscored the problem.

Jerome Leroy Wright, 32, of Northeast, was trying to rob three people last Saturday on H Street NE when the robbery turned into gunfire. Wright was shot to death; his three intended victims were wounded.

Wright was on parole for assault when he was arrested Sept. 5 on a drug charge. While in custody, he bolted from a patrol wagon, injured an officer and escaped. He cut his dreadlocks in a bid to elude police, but was recaptured.

But days later, despite his prior conviction and his recent escape, Wright was freed from custody until his next date at D.C. Superior Court.

The U.S. Parole Commission could have, but did not, attempt to revoke Wright’s parole to keep him behind bars.

“The U.S. Parole Commission had received an alleged violation report requesting the issuance of a warrant in the case of Jerome Leroy Wright,” said Peter Carr, a spokesman for the parole commission. “At the time of the alleged crime, the request was under consideration.”

Wright was put under High Intensity Supervised release on Sept. 14. He was ordered to not possess a gun and to stay away from the 700 block of H Street NE.

Nineteen days, later Wright was back on H Street, the scene of his drug arrest on Sept. 5, this time involved in the attempted robbery that wounded three and cost him his life.

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