A 60-year-old


sit­ting on a couch in Wash­ing­ton’s Ben­ning Park neigh­bor­hood was fa­tally struck by a bul­let that pierced his home.

Bar­ron Good­win moved in with his in-laws in Novem­ber af­ter his part­ner died of liver fail­ure. The 60-year-old suf­fered from de­men­tia, and he of­ten sat on the black leather couch un­der the front win­dow of the row­house in South­east Wash­ing­ton.

A few min­utes af­ter 11 a.m. on Wednesday, a bul­let fired out­side went through the win­dow frame, pierced a cur­tain and struck Good­win in the back of the head. He tum­bled to the car­peted floor, where his brother-in-law found him af­ter rush­ing down the stairs.

Good­win died at a hos­pi­tal more than four hours later, the District’s 19th homi­cide vic­tim of 2020.

D.C. po­lice have not made any ar­rests and are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the day­light gun­fire in the 800 block

of 51st Street SE in the Ben­ning Park neigh­bor­hood. An­other bul­let went through the front door and struck a stair­case. Two more struck ve­hi­cles parked along the curb.

Rel­a­tives be­lieve a stray bul­let took Good­win’s life. Po­lice said the case re­mains open, and a de­part­ment spokesman said the pos­si­bil­ity of an er­rant round is part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Au­thor­i­ties had no de­scrip­tion of a gun­man and were urg­ing neigh­bors with sur­veil­lance cam­eras to con­tact in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

“We’re way past an­gry,” said Good­win’s sis­ter-in-law, Carolyn Groce, 55. “We want this taken care of. . . . I want the po­lice to fig­ure this crime out and solve it. I know a lot go un­solved, but this is un­ac­cept­able.”

On Thurs­day, Groce, a se­cu­rity guard at the Na­tional Gallery of

Art, sat on the same couch on which Good­win had been shot, al­though she avoided the mid­dle cush­ion, the one un­der the win­dow. She paged through photo al­bums of his mar­riage in 2011 to her brother, Her­bert W. Win­dear.

“They def­i­nitely loved each other,” Groce re­called.

The two had met 11 years ago. Win­dear was a cook at sev­eral schools in the District; Good­win was a se­cu­rity guard at one of the big of­fice build­ings along K Street in North­west. They shared an apart­ment in South­east.

For a while, Good­win took care of Win­dear as his liver failed. But Good­win’s de­men­tia got worse, and when Win­dear died in Novem­ber at age 52, Groce said her brother-in-law didn’t know he was at a fu­neral.

Good­win moved in with Carolyn Groce and her hus­band, Harry Groce, 61, who also works as a se­cu­rity guard.

Along with their 20-year-old daugh­ter, Indya, they helped Good­win bathe, took him to doc­tors and to church so­cials, and out for seafood, one of his fa­vorite foods. He had an affin­ity for mu­sic, and could rec­og­nize songs that Harry Groce played.

He lis­tened to go-go, rhyth­mand-blues and “old-school 70s.” “You play a record, and he would say, ‘Oh, I know this song,’ ” Harry Groce said.

And he loved to dance.

“Take him any­where, and he went danc­ing,” Harry Groce said, as his wife pulled out a pic­ture of Indya pair­ing off with Good­win just a few months ago. On his bet­ter days, Good­win helped with the cook­ing or any­thing else the fam­ily needed.

Good­win grew up in South Carolina, where his mother lives, though she could not be reached. The Gro­ces said he had no other fam­ily in or around the District.

Carolyn Groce de­scribed Good­win as an “easy­go­ing, geta­long, go-along guy who was al­ways happy.”


Bar­ron Good­win was sit­ting on a couch un­der a win­dow in his liv­ing room when he was shot.

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