A 19-year-old man who already had been charged in one fatal shooting in the District this month was arrested Tuesday and charged in a second – the killing of a 17-year-old high school student who was on his way to buy candy bars.
Kwan Kearney of the District was charged Tuesday in the death of Joseph Alonzo Sharps Jr. on Nov. 8, police said.
The killing, D.C. police homicide Lt. Michael Farish said, was “completely unprovoked.”
Sharps was fatally shot about 8:45 p.m. in the 1300 block of Holbrook Street NE, in the Trinidad neighborhood.
He was a senior at Spingarn High School who had finished his homework and was going with a friend to a gas station or a drug store, relatives said. That was his routine, said his mother, Cynthia Sharps.
Apparently, according to Farish, the two friends were laughing about something. But then, seemingly without knowing what had prompted the laughter, other people on the street took offense, he said.
One or more of them “just started mouthing off” at the student and his friend, and “out came the guns,” Farish said.
In a news release, the police said Sharps and his friend were hit. Sharps was fatally wounded; his friend’s wounds were not considered to be life-threatening.
The suspect and the victim were two years apart in age but described as following different paths.
Sharps hoped to go to college, his family said.
Kearney was already in custody Tuesday when he was arrested in Sharps’ death and charged with first-degree murder while armed, police said.
They said he had been held since being arrested Nov. 16 and charged with first-degree murder while armed in the death of Jamal Wilson, who was found fatally shot Nov. 14 in the unit block of P Street NW.
Wilson, 19, and Kearney knew each other, Farish said. He said police were continuing to investigate that killing.