2 arrested in separate DC shootings involving a mother’s death, injured officer

Police in D.C. have arrested two people Tuesday believed to be behind two separate, high-profile shootings in Northwest. 

In a video message published Tuesday night, D.C. police Chief Robert Contee announced the arrest of 27-year-old Joseph Fox of Capitol Heights, Maryland, in connection to the death of 27-year-old Sierra Johnson.

Johnson was shot on Jan. 19 inside a car in front of her two children on Georgia Avenue around 8 p.m. An autopsy performed by Dr. Tatyana Zinger found that Johnson was shot 6 times, with four shots to the head.

She died from her injuries at the hospital and her children were not injured in the shooting. Charging documents showed that Johnson was roughly four months pregnant when she died.

Detectives believe the shooting was domestic in nature. Once they obtained a warrant, police arrested Fox. Officers also located a gun in his possession at the time of the arrest, but Contee did not say if it was the weapon used to kill Johnson. 

“I extend my condolences to the family, especially the children of Miss Johnson,” Contee said. “She did not deserve to die, and I’m happy that we were able to bring this case to a close.”

Police also determined that Fox was seen at a Popeyes location in Maryland driving Johnson’s vehicle three hours before her death. Investigators did not identify Johnson in their charging documents.

Fox has been charged with second-degree murder while armed, carrying a pistol without a license and felon in possession. He is being held without Bond and is scheduled to next appear in court on Feb. 9.

Contee then said police arrested 28-year-old Davon Easton due to a late-night shooting that injured an officer in the Petworth neighborhood Sunday. 

The police chief said patrol officers attempted to make contact with Easton on the 1300 block of Spring Road. As they began to exit their car, the suspect started shooting at the police before fleeing the scene.

One officer was injured and taken to the hospital. Contee said that officer is now at home and “recovering well” from his injuries.

Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force officers arrested Easton after obtaining a warrant in the D.C. Superior Court. He faces multiple charges, including felony assault on a police officer and assault with intent to kill while armed.

Contee said a gun with an extended magazine, believed to have been used by Easton, was found inside a home near the crime scene. Police recovered over 2,400 illegal firearms last year. 

“This is a very real example of the dangers our officers face when they are serving and protecting in Washington, D.C.,” Contee said.  

He asked residents to call in crime tips, including illegal ghost guns, to D.C. police. Currently, the city is partnering with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to raise the monetary incentive to get illegal guns off the street. 

Contee thanked the community for the information that led to arrests in these cases: “We are stronger in partnership and more impactful in combating violent crime when we do it together,” he said.

WTOP’s José Umaña and Ivy Lyons contributed to this report. 

Lauren Hamilton

Lauren Hamilton is an Associate Producer at WTOP. She is a senior student at the University of Maryland, having written for a variety of campus publications and as a reporter at the campus radio station, WMUC 88.1. She began as an intern with WTOP in the summer of 2021.

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