Arrests in 2 DC stray-bullet deaths

A close up of light bar on police car at night.(Getty Images/iStockphoto/aijohn784)

WASHINGTON — D.C. police have announced that suspects have been arrested in two cases in the District where bystanders were shot and killed by stray bullets — one from October, another from 2016.

D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham announced Friday that Barry Marable, 22, of Northeast D.C., was arrested Friday in the death of Roger “Tom” Marmet, 22, of D.C. Marable has been charged with first-degree murder while armed.

Marmet was shot and killed while he sat in his car at a traffic light at 17th Street and Bladensburg Road in Northeast Oct. 24. An aspiring social worker, Marmet was headed home from working at the nonprofit So Others Might Eat, which serves homeless people, at about 6 p.m. when he was shot by a stray bullet. He died at a hospital.

Marmet had graduated from the University of Vermont in May, and planned to work at the nonprofit for a year before studying to become a social worker, The Washington Post reported. “He dedicated his life to helping the homeless,” Newsham said Friday.

Newsham also announced an arrest in the March 6, 2016, death of Ivy Tonett Smith, who was shot on Alabama Avenue Southeast. Xavier Eugene Hamilton, 26, was arrested Wednesday and charged with second-degree murder while armed.

The chief said Smith, 39, was a mother and Dunbar High School graduate who worked as a barista and in property management, and that she was killed as she sat waiting for a bus and carrying groceries. He said of her family, “I can’t imagine how difficult it has been for them to wait two years for this case to be brought to closure.”

Newsham called the two cases “eerily similar,” and that neither of the victims were the intended target in their shootings. The police are continuing to look for suspects in the Smith shooting, but that there are no other suspects in the Marmet case.

Stray-bullet cases are “particularly difficult cases to close,” the chief said, adding that, given the District’s small size, “you discharge a weapon in this area, you never know where that bullet’s gonna land.”

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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