July 7, 2015 at 9:42 am EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gay man shot to death in Southeast D.C.
Penny Proud, gay news, Washington Blade

Stephon Marquis Perkins was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A police source said the cause of death appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head.

D.C. police homicide detectives are investigating the shooting death of a 21-year-old gay man who was found lying in the street unconscious near the intersection of 16th and Galen Streets, S.E. about 3:44 a.m. on Thursday, June 25, according to a police statement.

The statement says Stephon Marquis Perkins, a Maryland resident, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A police source said the cause of death appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head.

The source, who spoke on condition of not being identified, said there was no evidence so far to indicate the murder was a hate crime. Although police have not disclosed whether they have uncovered a motive for the killing, the police source said the area where Perkins was shot is considered a “dangerous” high-crime area and the shooting could have resulted from a robbery gone bad.

An employee of the D.C. LGBT community services center Casa Ruby, who identified herself only as Molly H., told the Blade she and Perkins were close friends and that Perkins identified as gay.

“He was almost like family,” she said. “He was a kind, open hearted person. He could be the life of the party.”

The police source said homicide detectives investigating the case have spoken to Perkins’ boyfriend and have consulted with the department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit as part of their investigation into the incident.

Police have also notified a coalition of local LGBT groups known as the Violence Prevention and Response Team, or VPART, about the case, the source said. The groups, which include Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV), had not released a public statement about the incident as of Tuesday morning.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

1 Comment
  • How come it has taken MPD’s new GLLU Supervisor TWELVE days to get news of this gay-related homicide OUT to the public? Is Chief Lanier muzzling GLLU’s Sergeant Hawkins now too?

    Chief Lanier, GLLU’s second “L” stand for *LIAISON*. You know, as in *community liaison*. What don’t you get about that?

    This appears to be MPD’s routine and BIASED two-step story line and response as soon as a violent crime against a LGBT person is reported to the public…

    Step 1…
    Speculate and cast doubt that the crime was a hate crime. Be sure to say, “we have no evidence so far of a hate crime”

    Step 2…
    But be sure to speculate that the violent crime could have been motivated by robbery.

    Notice MPD’s intentional *de-emphasis* of a hate crime and its intentional *promotion* of a robbery motive. There’s nothing biased about that, huh?

    Similar early speculation happened with reports of the murder of a man on the Metro Red Line on July 4th. But now we learn from Court charging documents that the perp arrested threw the victim’s cell phone back at him after he repeatedly stabbed the man when lying helpless on the Metro car’s floor.

    Was robbery really the motive? Or was hate also the motive?

    MPD’s affidavit of that Metro murder (see WaPo) noted nothing being spoken by the murderer while he repeatedly beat and stabbed the victim– who was also reportedly (by WaPo) a LGBT rights champion. We don’t know at this point whether the victim in that case was straight or LGBT.

    But again, we’re to believe not a word was spoken by the killer– with at least five witnesses on that Metro train reporting their accounts to MPD? How credible is that?

    Maybe Chief Lanier will allow our new GLLU mystery supervisor of GLLU, Sgt. Hawkins, to come out of MPD’s shadows to provide us with some more information about both crimes.

    What ever happened to Chief Lanier’s 2014 promises to strengthen GLLU and provide better GLLU interaction with DC LGBTQ residents and businesses? Was that just an election year ploy?

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