A vigil was held for two men who police said were shot and killed by an off-duty Pentagon Police Officer in Takoma Park, Maryland, earlier this month.
Dozens gathered at Marvin Gaye Recreation Center in Northeast D.C. to sing, listen to music and eulogize James Johnson, 38, of District Heights, and Dominque Williams, 32, of Hyattsville.
Red and white balloons were released too.
The pair were shot from behind as they drove away from the off-duty officer, identified as David Dixon, in the parking lot of the Takoma Overlook Condominiums on New Hampshire Avenue, according to police.
Dixon faces two charges of second-degree murder.
He initially told police he believed the two were breaking into cars in the parking lot of the complex, and that they drove at him as he confronted the men. However, both men were shot from behind, and it was later revealed they were driving away from Dixon when they were shot.
“No child deserves to be told that their father was shot in the back and murdered for no reason,” said the mother of Johnson’s two-year-old son, speaking at the vigil.
Her words and the words of Montgomery County Councilman Will Jawondo were captured by WTOP news partner NBC Washington.
“It happened because they look at skin like many of us out here tonight and think that we are doing something wrong,” Jawondo said. “They think that just because we look like we look, we’re committing crimes.”
Video appears to show him pulling out a long gun and pointing it at a woman in the lobby of the building. He’s facing assault and weapons charges in that incident.