The Washington Post
Murder charge for D.C. officer
Police: He fired as armed motorist pulled away
A federal grand jury has charged a D.C. police sergeant with second-degree murder and other crimes in the controversial on-duty shooting of an armed motorist in 2021, authorities said Tuesday.
The U.S. attorney’s office in the District said a three-count indictment, unsealed Tuesday, accuses Sgt. Enis Jevric, 41, of second-degree murder, illegal use of a firearm and violating the civil rights of the motorist, 27year-old An’twan Gilmore, who was fatally shot Aug. 25, 2021, at New York and Florida avenues NE.
Several officers had approached Gilmore at the intersection about 2:30 a.m. after he fell asleep at a traffic light in the driver’s seat of a BMW, according to court filings. At least some of the officers noticed a handgun in his waistband, police said.
When Gilmore awoke and began to drive away, authorities said, Jevric fired at least 10 rounds at the car in a use of deadly force that appeared to violate D.C. police department policies against shooting at moving vehicles, Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said at the time.
Jevric, who has been on the force for about 15 years, pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon at his arraignment in U.S. District Court in Washington. Police said Jevric is on administrative leave with pay.
Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey noted that he did not have authority to detain Jevric pending a trial because prosecutors did not request it. Seconddegree murder, the most serious charge in the indictment, is punishable by up to life in prison.
Harvey released Jevric and placed him in the court system’s High Intensity Supervision Program, with a nightly curfew and GPS monitoring. Harvey said he agreed with defense attorney Barrett Schultz that Jevric did not pose a flight risk.
Schultz could not be reached for comment after the arraignment. Gilmore’s sister, Almoustah Gilmore, has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Jevric and the city. Brian Mcdaniel, one of Almoustah Gilmore’s lawyers, praised the indictment in an email: “On behalf of the family we are pleased that the Grand Jury has returned appropriate charges for Officer Jevric and look forward with great hope and expectation that justice will be done for An’twan.”
After Jevric opened fire early that morning, police said, the BMW crashed into a tree, and
Gilmore was found fatally wounded in the driver’s seat. The loaded handgun that officers had observed when they first encountered him “was still in the right side of his waistband area,” Contee said at the time.
Police have said that video of the crucial moments leading up to the shooting from Jevric’s body camera was obscured by a ballistic shield he was carrying as he approached the car. It was not clear what other officers saw. Jevric was the only officer of about six at the scene who fired a gun, according to police.
Police have said they do not know precisely what happened inside the car when Gilmore stirred as police knocked on a window, or why Jevric fired. Jevric did not give a statement to detectives, as was his right while prosecutors reviewed the shooting, authorities said. He has declined to comment publicly on the shooting.
Gilmore’s family and some community activists criticized the shooting as unnecessary, and Contee promised a thorough investigation at the time.
After officers responded to a 911 call about a sleeping motorist, police said, they regrouped for about 20 minutes to plan how to approach the vehicle because a gun was visible in Gilmore’s waistband. Police later said the Glock semiautomatic was loaded with 17 rounds.
Gilmore, asleep, had his left foot on the brake, police said. Video from body-worn cameras shows officers gathered around the car and, at one point, an officer tapping on a window. That apparently woke Gilmore, who drove away as Jevric fired. The shots came in two distinct bursts, with several fired as the car headed away from the officers, police said at the time.