A 34-year-old gay man who was found stabbed to death in his D.C. apartment Monday night was last seen by friends leaving a gay bar over the weekend, said the city police homicide squad’s supervisor.
Capt. Michael Farish told reporters at a news briefing Tuesday that police discovered the victim, Delando King, unconscious and suffering from stab wounds in his apartment along the 1100 block of 10th Street, N.W., shortly after 6 p.m. Monday.
A separate police statement said police and a D.C. Fire & Emergency Medical Services crew rushed to the scene in response to an emergency call.
“Upon arriving on the scene they discovered a male victim unresponsive and suffering from apparent stab wounds; he was subsequently pronounced dead,” said the statement.
Farish confirmed the location as an apartment in a high-rise building at 1117 10th Street, N.W.
A surveillance camera at the building captured video footage of King entering the building with an unidentified male guest, Farish said. He noted the surveillance video also shows the unidentified man leaving the building a short time later carrying a bag that he did not have when he entered the building with King.
He said police planned to release photo images of the unidentified man taken from the video. Farish described the unidentified man as a “person of interest” rather than a suspect until investigators gather more information about the circumstances surrounding the case.
“We know two of the clubs [the victim] was at,” said Farish. “We’re looking for the public’s assistance if they saw him in another club.”
According to Farish, King was out with friends at the two clubs police have identified.
“They were able to give us a timeline as to when he left,” he said. “It’s after 12:30 Sunday morning where it becomes a little sketchy as to where he was and where he may have met somebody else. So if anyone knows Mr. King or if he was a regular anywhere, we’re definitely looking for the public’s assistance in identifying that, especially if they saw him in the company of anybody.”
Farish declined to identify the clubs that King patronized with friends in the hours before his death, saying investigators would rather have members of the community come forward with the names of places King may have visited that investigators don’t know about.
But one source familiar with the case said King had patronized the gay club Fuego on Friday night and early Saturday morning. Fuego, which caters to the LGBT Latino community, operates only on Friday nights and rents space at a non-gay club at 1818 New York Ave., N.E.
The owner of the Fuego nightclub venue could not be immediately reached.
King’s death comes one week after D.C. police released an alert to the LGBT community noting that five separate attacks against men are being investigated. All five attacks occurred in the city between June 2 and July 30 and are believed to be motivated by anti-gay bias.
The alert said that while police were examining the cases for possible similarities, they had yet to confirm whether they cases were related or whether any two or more of the assaults were committed by the same perpetrators.
Farish said homicide detectives investigating King’s murder were aware of the separate incidents, but don’t believe they are linked to King’s death.
“What we’re dealing with in this incident has no indication of being related to those incidents,” he said.
King worked for the federal government as an employee of the U.S. Indian Health Service, which is an arm of the Department of Health & Human Services.
“We at the Indian Health Service are very saddened to learn of the death of our colleague Dalando King, who was a member of the Navajo Nation,” the IHS said in a statement released Tuesday.
“Mr. King was a dedicated employee and a friend to many in the Washington area American Indian community. We extend our deep condolences to Mr. King’s family,” the statement says.