New details emerge in October 2019 killing of teen near Nats Park

More details have been released in regards to the fatal Oct. 2019 shooting of a 15-year-old near Nats Park. A teenager has been arrested in connection to the incident, according to D.C. police, and an affidavit from D.C.’s Superior court suggests that the victim may have been involved in a robbery just a few days before he was killed.

Javon Gunter, 18, of Southwest D.C., was arrested Friday and faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Thomas Johnson, 15, of Southeast D.C.

The shooting happened around 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9 near Half Street SW between N Street and O Street. Police responded around 1:15 p.m. to the housing complex a few blocks west of Nationals Park for reported gunshots.

There they found Johnson unresponsive with multiple gunshot wounds. He died at the scene.

An affidavit from D.C. Superior Court says when Johnson was discovered on the scene, he was in possession of a PNC Bank card he had allegedly robbed from someone days before.

The robbery happened along the 32000 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Southeast just days before Johnson was killed.

The robbery victim, a juvenile whose name was not released, said he was sitting at a bus stop when two suspects approached him and demanded property. He handed over credit and debit cards, a cellphone and his sneakers, the victim told police.

A day after the victim and his mother were interviewed by police, they reported that one of the suspects, Johnson, was killed on Oct. 9 and that the other robber had posted photos wearing the victim’s sneakers on social media after the robbery.

Johnson was among the three people in the photo posted to Instagram. He was seated on a washing machine and the word “killed” was typed over his leg, according to court documents.

Johnson’s killing was one of several early October shootings that triggered city police’s “fall crime initiative.” It also led to protests by local students against gun violence in Anacostia.

Below, see a map of the area where the shooting happened:

Vivian Medithi

Vivian Medithi is digital writer/editor. Vivian has been with WTOP since 2019.

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