The Washington Post reports that Raasheem Jamal Rich, fatally stabbed Jan. 10, was once himself a killer in 1990.
Rich spent two decades in prison, during which the number of people killed in D.C. plummeted. His conviction two decades ago, and his violent death this year, connect two wildly different moments in the history of crime in the District.
The killings in the early ‘90s turned the nation’s capital into the country’s epicenter of violence and drug abuse. The image is different today. Just days before Rich was fatally stabbed on the afternoon of Jan. 10 outside a liquor store on Alabama Avenue in Southeast Washington, the District’s mayor and police chief hailed a milestone: 88 slayings in 2012, the fewest in 51 years.
Police arrested Burnis Cole Jan. 17 on suspicion of killing Rich. Cole appeared in court Jan. 18 and was ordered held at D.C. Jail. Video surveillance shows Cole and Rich fighting at a liquor store on Alabama Avenue Southeast, according to court documents.
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