Man faces murder charge after Southeast DC standoff, fire

A homicide suspect is in custody following an armed standoff and fire in a Southeast D.C. residence on Monday afternoon.

D.C. police said Tuesday that the body of 53-year-old James Brooks, of no fixed address, was recovered from the 200 block of 37th Street SE around 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Brooks was found suffering from apparent stab wounds and died at the scene.

The suspect in his killing, named as 45-year-old Sherman Holley, was taken into custody the following afternoon after barricading himself inside a home nearby on 37th Place Southeast. In a news release, D.C. police said Holley has been charged with second-degree murder while armed.

D.C. Fire and EMS crews were called to the scene around 2:35 p.m. Monday for a fire that had started during the standoff with police. Firefighters arrived to find smoke showing from the upper floor, but were asked to seek cover and remain on standby until officers secured the building.

“By the time we engaged in a fire attack, there was fire in the first and second floor, and in the attic,” D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Vito Maggiolo told WTOP on Monday, adding that firefighters had to wait an hour after they arrived to start putting it out.

Police worked to evacuate residents during the barricade situation. The building was heavily damaged as a result of the fire, Maggiolo said, and five people were displaced.

WTOP’s Abigail Constantino contributed to this report.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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