The Washington Post

Arrest made in shooting of Peace Corps worker

- BY PETER HERMANN peter.hermann@washpost.com

D.C. police on Wednesday arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting this summer of a 53-year-old Peace Corps worker who authoritie­s believe was struck by a stray bullet shortly after having dinner in the Logan Circle area.

Several others are still being sought in the June 29 killing of Jeremy “Jerry” Black, who lived in Takoma Park, Md., and had been dining with his wife and two friends at a restaurant along 14th Street NW.

Police identified the suspect as Dearay Anthony Wilson, 25, of Northeast Washington. They said he was charged with second-degree murder while armed and could make his initial appearance in D.C. Superior Court on Thursday.

It could not be determined if Wilson has an attorney, and efforts to reach his relatives were not successful.

D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said he called Black’s wife to alert her to the arrest. “She simply said to me, ‘ Thank you.’ ”

The shooting of Black came amid a violent summer that included the July 16 slaying of a 6-year-old girl in Southeast, also hit by a stray bullet, and gunfire outside Nationals Park that left two people wounded, scattered fans and postponed a game.

On July 22, two more people were wounded when gunshots were fired along 14th Street, sending outdoor diners racing for cover and renewing calls for more police.

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) authorized police to use “any overtime necessary” as they searched for assailants and tried to prevent more shooting from occurring.

Black was shot about 9:10 p.m. as he walked from the restaurant and by the Gladstone Condominiu­m building in the 1400 block of R Street NW, just off 14th Street. A neighborho­od advisory commission­er heard the gunshots as he finished touring community gardens for a contest.

Black’s wife, Cathy Feingold, told The Washington Post two women jumped from a nearby patio to help, with one ripping off her shirt to try to stop Black’s bleeding as the couple’s friends called 911. Police released surveillan­ce video showing four people running to a white vehicle moments after the shooting.

Black, who worked for the Peace Corps in the Office of Inspector General, died at a hospital. He and his wife were raising two sons, who were 15 and 17 at the time of the shooting.

Contee did not reveal details about the case or what led to the arrest, but cited instrument­al forensic help from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The head of that agency’s field office joined the chief at the announceme­nt. Members of the U.S. Marshals Service made the arrest.

Police have previously said

Black did not appear to be targeted in the shooting. Additional details are expected to be made public when Wilson makes his first court appearance and an arrest affidavit is unsealed.

In an interview with Washington Post columnist Theresa Vargas in July, Feingold said she was aware her husband’s death was an “outlier” and that too many Black families had suffered “complete and utter devastatio­n” by violence.

She told Vargas the violence problem can’t be solved “without people dealing with what’s going on inside of them — the rage. Who shoots people up? You cannot be a healthy, happy human being. It wasn’t a hit job. . . . It was spraying bullets on a crowded street.”

“We are obviously very grateful, but we understand this is the first step in a long process of holding a person accountabl­e for the devastatio­n caused on our family and our community,” Feingold said Wednesday.

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