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Northeast DC shooting becomes city's 150th homicide in 2020

The shooting happened on the 1100 block of 45th Street.

WASHINGTON — A 30-year-old man was shot and killed in Northeast D.C. Tuesday night, D.C. police said, marking a 17% increase in homicides compared to this time last year. 

The shooting happened in the 1100 block of 45th Street around 9:00 p.m., police said. Officers responded to the scene in Northeast for reports of gunshots in the area. At the scene, they found 30-year-old Michael Bright suffering from a gunshot wound, police said.

WUSA9 crews were at the scene of the shooting and noticed that a car had also rammed a house.

At this time, it is unknown what led up to the shooting or how the car struck the home. 

D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) crews transported Bright to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead after several live-saving efforts.

Bright's death brings the city to 150 homicides thus far in 2020, according to police. As of Wednesday, data shows that homicides in D.C. have gone up 17% from last year's 128 homicides around this time.

Data also shows that although there is an increase in homicides, the overall crime in the District still remains 18% lower than in 2019.

Among D.C.'s most recent homicides was the fatal shooting of a Blacksburg, Virginia man who shot and killed at a Northwest gas station early Monday morning.

Alexander Nwogu, 23, had just been hired as a tech consultant with a Northern Virginia firm, Ernst and Young, before he was murdered around 1:30 a.m. at the Shell gas station in the 4900 block of Connecticut Avenue. 

Police say Nwogu was a customer at the gas station when he was killed, and at this time they have no information to release on a possible motive behind the shooting.

Family and friends told WUSA9's Bruce Leshan that Nwogu was a cum laude graduate of Virginia Tech and graduated just five months ago. Both Nwogu's brother and sister live in Alexandria, and his father is an Army officer in Nigeria.

D.C. Police are still searching for the two men responsible.

Credit: Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times
Alex Nwogo, right, celebrates with friends during graduation from Virginia Tech in May, 2020. He was murdered at a DC gas station in October.

A GoFundMe set up by friends to cover funeral expenses for 23-year-old Alex Nwogu was up to nearly $30,000 Wednesday afternoon.

Though violent crime across the District is down compared to 2019, in one of the city's safest areas, Ward 3, three violent attacks have left people shaken: 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.

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