Teenager dies of in­juries from Tues­day shoot­ing

The Washington Post Sunday - - LOCAL OPINIONS - BY PETER HER­MANN peter.her­mann@wash­post.com

A 15-year-old Bal­lou High School sopho­more who was shot in the neck af­ter get­ting off a bus early Tues­day in South­east Washington died of his in­juries Satur­day, D.C. po­lice said.

Malek Mercer’s mother, Sharon Becks, had said her son was on life sup­port at a hos­pi­tal and was not ex­pected to sur­vive. The teenager died five days be­fore what would have been his 16th birth­day.

A po­lice af­fi­davit filed in court Satur­day does not list a mo­tive, but says that while on the bus, a man asked Malek about his Ver­sace belt. The af­fi­davit does not say whether the sus­pected gun­man was try­ing to rob Malek of his ap­parel.

Po­lice on Fri­day ar­rested Der­ryck An­juan Decuir, 22, of South­east, and charged him with as­sault with in­tent to kill. In a state­ment, po­lice said Satur­day that the charge will most likely be re­vised af­ter an au­topsy is com­plete and the death is ruled a homi­cide.

Decuir was ar­rested in Wal­dorf, in south­ern Mary­land, and made his ini­tial ap­pear­ance in D.C. Su­pe­rior Court on Satur­day. A judge or­dered him de­tained un­til a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing sched­uled for Thurs­day.

Decuir is on pro­ba­tion stem­ming from a con­vic­tion in 2013 af­ter po­lice in Prince Ge­orge’s County ar­rested him while he was wear­ing a ski mask and car­ry­ing a .40-cal­iber hand­gun loaded with 16 bul­lets out­side a high school.

Malek is the fourth teenager to die in D.C. shoot­ings this year. Two other vic­tims were 17 and one was 16 years old. Becks said she re­cently moved her fam­ily to Mary­land to es­cape vi­o­lence but wanted Malek to fin­ish the school year at Bal­lou.

Malek was vis­it­ing a friend when he was shot about 12:40 a.m. in the 2800 block of 28th Street SE at Nay­lor Road SE. Po­lice said in the af­fi­davit that Malek and his friend were at a bus stop when a man asked them, “What, you’ll sell belts?” ac­cord­ing to the court af­fi­davit. Malek told the man that he was not selling belts.

They all boarded a bus. Po­lice said one man then sat next to Malek, and another sat in front of him. When Malek and his friend got off the bus at 28th Street SE, a wit­ness told po­lice, one of the men pulled out a hand­gun and shot Malek in the back of the neck.

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