Police ID bystander killed in dispute that ended in gunfire outside DC deli

A bystander was shot and killed after an argument escalated into gunfire outside a Northwest D.C. deli on Thursday afternoon.

Gunfire rang out in the 1900 block of 7th Street NW around 1:15 p.m. Thursday. D.C. police officers who were nearby heard the shots, and arrived to find 62-year-old Lasanta McGill suffering from a gunshot wound.

He later died at a hospital.

At a news briefing, D.C. police Commander James Boteler said the incident started as a “dispute” between at least three men in the entryway of a deli. The argument spilled outside and turned violent, ending with a spate of gunfire.

“It doesn’t appear, watching the video that we’ve recovered, that our victim in this case was involved in the emerging dispute at all,” Boteler said. “We believe he had just been somebody who was out in the block.”

Demarcus Barnett, 20, of Southeast, D.C., was arrested and charged with second degree murder. A weapon was also recovered.

“It just goes to reaffirm that we have way too many people on our streets carrying illegal firearms,” Boteler added. “Unfortunately, there are too many people carrying firearms in simple physical or verbal disputes, leading to gunfire. It’s unacceptable in any city, especially here in Washington.”

Barnett was arraigned Friday and entered a not guilty plea, a U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Columbia news release said. He’s being held without bond pending a preliminary hearing scheduled on June 20.

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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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