Suspect in fatal soup kitchen stabbing attacked victim, 1 other earlier

A man who police said fatally stabbed another man outside a soup kitchen in the Foggy Bottom area of D.C. on Tuesday is also the suspect in two earlier knife attacks.

Police said Joseph Melton, 51, of Southeast D.C., attacked another man who was waiting in line outside Miriam’s Kitchen on Virginia Avenue Northwest around 2:30 p.m.

Melton is suspected in two other attacks earlier that day, and one of these earlier attacks involved the man who was later killed.

The first attack happened around 8:30 a.m. The man Melton is accused of fatally stabbing was walking along Connecticut Avenue Northwest just north of Dupont Circle when Melton approached him near Bancroft Place and Connecticut Avenue and asked, “Do you want me to kill you in a church?”

Melton then pulled a knife from his pocket and tried to stab him. The man was able to run away, and he reported the incident to police.

Melton is also the suspect in a stabbing of another man in downtown D.C. near the McPherson Square Metro a few hours after the first attack.

The man was stabbed so severely that “his intestines were protruding from his body,” police wrote in charging documents.

The second victim survived the attack and told police a man he knew as “JoJo” stabbed him.

Witnesses also described the attacker and told police the suspect ran off toward the Metro station. The second victim later identified Melton as his attacker in a photo lineup, police said.

For the second attack, Melton has been charged with assault with intent to kill.

It was about two hours after the second attack that Melton showed up at the soup kitchen and stabbed the man he had threatened earlier that day, court documents said.

Witnesses reported that Melton approached the man and started yelling at him. A scuffle broke out, and witnesses said they saw Melton standing over the man, who was lying down. Melton was clutching a knife and striking the victim, according to court documents.

When one witness confronted Melton to break up the attack, asking him why he stabbed the other man, the witness said Melton replied, “Mind your business.”

Melton was arrested a short time later after witnesses followed him for blocks through the Foggy Bottom neighborhood and flagged down responding officers. He faces a charge of first-degree murder.

Police have not identified the man who was killed, saying they still have to notify his family.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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