A gay D.C. resident was shot to death in his car by a 20-year-old District man he met on a telephone chat line and who posed as gay for the purpose of luring him to a location where he could rob him, according to a police affidavit.
The affidavit, which was discussed during a D.C. Superior Court hearing Wednesday, says Antwan Holcomb allegedly entered Anthony Perkins’ Lincoln Town Car after Perkins, 29, drove to a location the two arranged to meet through a conversation on the chat line.
Holcomb allegedly shot Perkins in the head Dec. 27 after he resisted Holcomb’s robbery attempt, says the affidavit.
Holcomb was overheard saying he “shot the ‘faggy’ in the head and robbed him of a pack of Newport cigarettes” before leaving the car and fleeing the scene on foot, the affidavit says. It says the pack of cigarettes appears to be the only item taken.
D.C. police charged Holcomb on March 12 with first-degree murder while armed in connection with Perkins’ death while he was being held at the D.C. jail on an unrelated charge of assault with intent to kill.
Court records show that the separate assault charge stems from a Dec. 12 incident in which Holcomb allegedly shot two people outside the Player’s Lounge, a popular Southeast nightclub and restaurant on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, S.E., that has hosted events organized by gay activists.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Lee Satterfield found probable cause that Holcomb murdered Perkins and approved a motion by prosecutors that he be held without bond while awaiting trial. Holcomb has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Liebman, the lead prosecutor in the case, told DC Agenda after the hearing that the case would soon go before a grand jury. He said additional charges, including the possible classification of the murder as an anti-gay hate crime, could emerge in a grand jury indictment.
Gay activists and groups that monitor anti-gay violence often have referred to cases like the Perkins killing as gay pickup murders, noting that they usually stem from a gay man meeting someone at a gay bar or cruising spot who who seeks to intice the gay man into inviting him to his home, where the perpetrator intends to rob or harm him. In recent years, police and activists have said gay male victims have frequently met their attackers online.
D.C. police homicide detective Ray Shields testified at Wednesday’s hearing that investigators linked Holcomb to the Perkins murder after identifying several witnesses, including two who were at or near the scene at the time of the murder. He said the two witnesses near the scene, whom prosecutors have identified only was W-1 and W-2, knew Holcomb before the murder.
He said W-1 reported hearing a loud bang that sounded like a gunshot on the 2900 block of Fourth Street, S.E., and moments later observed a man he knew as Antwan walking quickly away from the area. Shields said the witness later identified the person he saw as Antwan Holcomb from a nine-picture police photo array.
The detective pointed to the affidavit’s account of the second witness, W-2, who told police he saw a man he knew as “Twon” leave a residence at 500 Lebaum St., S.E., and enter a gold-colored Lincoln Town Car in the early morning hours of Dec. 27. According to the affidavit, W-2 said that later in the morning he saw the man run back into the residence at 500 Lebaum St., S.E.
“Once he was inside, W-2 heard Twon describing a murder Twon had just committed,” says the affidavit. “W-2 advised that Twon stated that he got into a car and drove around with the ‘faggy’ and that Twon stated that, at some point later, he pulled out his gun at which time Twon and the ‘faggy’ got into a brief struggle.
“Twon then stated that he shot the ‘faggy’ in the head and robbed him of a pack of Newport cigarettes.”
Shields testified at the hearing that W-2 also was shown a nine-picture police photo array and “positively” identified Antwan Holcomb as Twon.
According to the affidavit, Holcomb admitted to homicide detectives that he met Perkins on a phone chat line and admitted to inviting the person to meet him outside of 500 Lebaum St., S.E. But he denied getting into that person’s car when the person arrived at the scene and denied shooting and robbing the person, says the affidavit.
“Mr. Holcomb stated that sometime between the late evening hours of [Dec. 26] and the early morning hours of [Dec. 27] he called a ‘chat line,’” says the affidavit. “He stated that he posed as a homosexual in an attempt to lure a victim to his location for the purpose of robbing him. He stated that he spoke to someone on the chat line and after several conversations convinced the subject to meet him in the area of 500 Lebaum St., S.E.
“Mr. Holcomb stated that later that same night the person he talked to on the chat line drove up to 500 Lebaum St., S.E. Mr. Holcomb stated that he did not get into the car with the person but another subject that looked like him, i.e., like Mr. Holcomb, did,” says the affidavit. “Mr. Holcomb denied shooting or robbing the person who drove up to 500 Lebaum St.”
The affidavit says police ballistic tests showed that the bullet recovered from Perkins’ head and a bullet recovered from one of the victims Holcomb allegedly shot outside the Player’s Lounge had been fired from the same gun.
A separate affidavit for the Player’s Lounge case says one of the people allegedly shot by Holcomb is paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheel chair as a result of the gunshot wound.
Holcomb’s defense attorney in the Perkins case, Ronald Horton, declined comment.