Weekend Crime: Man beaten outside DC9 club; police officer Brian Stevenson killed in Canton
Over the weekend, two separate incidents in Washington and Baltimore that started out as fights turned fatal, leaving an Ethiopian immigrant and an off-duty Baltimore police officer dead.
At 2:30 a.m. Friday, Ali Ahmed Mohammed, an Ethiopian immigrant who lived in Silver Spring, turned up at the popular U Street club DC9 in Washington. After being denied entrance, he angrily hurled two bricks at the venue, breaking its front window, according to the Washington Post.
Soon after, five men chased him, and fatally beat him, according to Washington police, who have since charged co-owner of DC9, William Spieler, and four other club employees with the crime.
The men have been charged with aggravated assault because the cause of death hasn't been determined; that could change when the medical examiner makes a final ruling
The Friday morning death has shocked Washington nightlife, where DC9 was a popular club and live music venue. Nightlife website Brightest Young Things has come to the club's defense. "The notion that that event resulted from systemic problems at DC9 itself runs counter to our seven years of experience as patrons of that venue," read a post baffingly titled "Murder at DC9? Hmm..."
The death has had other consequences. Since DC police temporarily shut down the club, owners moved bands Light Pollution and Zachary Peterson to the Rock & Roll Hotel, and canceled Thursday's Where Winston Stood show.
The club's website doesn't say anything about Wednesday's scheduled show by First Aid Kit.
In Baltimore, 25-year-old South Baltimore resident Sian James and off-duty officer Brian Stevenson got into an argument over a parking spot around 10 p.m. Saturday on the 2800 block of Hudson St., Sun reporter Justin Fenton wrote.
According to court records, James struck Stevenson's left temple "with a fist-sized concrete fragment," and has since been charged with first-degree murder.
It's not clear if James had been hanging out at club Clutch, which is near where the incident happened. Neighbors say the area is typically packed with visitors and tourists during the weekends; the Baltimore Beer Festival took place just a few blocks away at the Canton Waterfront a day after.
But, as Fenton notes, Canton is also one of the safest neighborhoods in the city, with Stevenson the first murder there this year.
Photo: Bloodstains remain on a crosswalk at 9th and U streets. (Bill O'Leary/Washington Post)