WASHINGTON — There's been an outpouring of support for the Virginia Tech grad murdered at a Northwest D.C. gas station Monday. A GoFundMe set up by friends to cover funeral expenses for 23-year-old Alex Nwogu was up to nearly $30,000 Wednesday afternoon.
His death is one of 150 homicides in D.C. thus far in 2020, a 17% increase from this time last year. City leaders blame the proliferation of guns for a lot of it. But a source close to the investigation of Nwogu's murder said there is little new information to report on his case right now.
The 150th murder of the year in D.C. was the shooting of 30-year-old Michael Bright on 45th Street NE Tuesday night. Twenty-three more people have died in the District this year compared to the same time period last year.
Though violent crime across the District is down compared to 2019, with 235 fewer incidents in 2020, one of the city's safest areas, Ward 3, has been left shaken after three violent attacks: a murder behind the Lord and Taylor in late September; Nwogu's death this week and the shooting of Uber driver Alexander Mireku in Tenleytown on Sunday night.
"It involves guns, it involves death and it involves a randomness that really puts people on edge," D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) said.
Investigators believe the same two men who shot Mireku may have traveled less than a mile to attack Nwogu at the Shell station, beating him in the back of the head and shooting him to death.
"I just hope police can find these guys and get them off the street," Charlie Klauer, who taught and mentored Alex Nwogu at Virginia Tech, where he graduated cum laude in May, said. "Because I certainly hope more families are not shattered by these people."
Klauer said Nwogu touched a lot of Hokies as a student. And she said he could have changed the world.
"I do want his family to know that he was very respected and loved here, and we are all mourning with them this loss," Klauer said through tears.
Police are asking neighbors and businesses to check their surveillance cameras to see if they have any video that might help catch the suspects. They consider them armed and dangerous, and said if people see anything suspicious, to call 911 and let the police check it out.
It bears repeating, there is up to a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in Nwogu's murder.