March 30, 2018 at 9:30 am EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gay man found murdered in D.C. apartment
Sean Anderson, gay news, Washington Blade

Sean Anderson died of a gunshot wound on March 24.

A 48-year-old gay man was found shot to death on Saturday, March 24, in an apartment where he was believed to have resided at the Marbury Plaza apartments at 2330 Good Hope Rd., S.E.

D.C. police said in a statement that officers from the Seventh Police District and members of the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services arrived at the residence about 9:27 p.m. and found Sean Anderson unconscious with “no signs consistent with life.”

The statement says Anderson was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which determined the next day that the cause of death was a gunshot wound and the incident was ruled a homicide.

Veteran D.C. transgender activist Earline Budd said she has known Anderson for many years and that he self-identified as a gay man who sometimes dressed in women’s clothes, possibly to perform in drag.

“We kind of grew up together,” said Budd. “Sean was very beautiful and very talented. He was a wonderful singer,” according to Budd, who said he performed in talent shows.

Police have not disclosed whether they have a suspect or have identified a motive for the murder. They are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Anderson’s murder.

The Marbury Plaza is know to have a large number of LGBT residents. Budd said the apartment complex also has numerous video security cameras and she is hopeful the cameras will help police identify a suspect.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police at 202-727-9099. Those with information may also contact police anonymously by sending a text message to the police text tip line at 50411.

In an unrelated incident, a transgender woman was shot and suffered a non-life threatening injury about 9:48 p.m. on Saturday, March 24, near the intersection of Bruce Place and Raynolds Place, S.E. The shooting took place less than an hour after police found Anderson’s body several miles away on Good Hope Rd.

A police statement says the woman was found shortly after police responded to the scene for a report of a shooting.

“Upon arrival, officers found an adult male suffering from multiple gunshot wounds,” the statement says. “DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services arrived on the scene and transported the victim to an area hospital,” where he died a short time later, the statement says. Police identified the victim as 33-year-old Anthony Smith of Southeast, D.C.

The statement says the woman was found minutes later suffering from a gunshot wound and was taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

The woman’s identity and age weren’t disclosed in the police statement because she is believed to have been a witness to the shooting of Smith and longstanding police policy is to withhold identifying witnesses to crimes still under investigation.

The police statements announcing both Anderson’s murder and the shooting of the transgender woman did not disclose that Anderson was gay or that the woman shot in the second incident was transgender.

The Washington Blade has learned that police disclosed the two victims’ respective sexual orientation and gender identity to a group of LGBT activists who serve on a police advisory group called the Violence Prevention and Response Team, or VPART.

In a practice considered controversial by some LGBT activists, D.C. police follow a longstanding policy of not disclosing the sexual orientation or gender identity of crime victims unless they obtain evidence that the victims were targeted for a crime specifically because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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

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