City Desk

More Details On The Police Shooting @ 7th Street NE

Earlier today, we wrote about the police shooting that took place this morning at 830 7th Street NE. According to news accounts and police statements, D.C. cops were called to the address for a domestic dispute or assault. When they arrived they found a stabbing victim and the alleged perp. The suspect allegedly charged at the police with a pole. The police opened fire on the man and killed him. “He was dead on arrival. It was a fatal shooting," says Traci Hughes, the D.C. police spokesperson.

The incident happened shortly before 11 a.m. While there was some back and forth over whether the home was a group home, it is a rooming house that does include people who are mentally ill. One former resident I interviewed said that he had been referred to the house by a psych facility. "This is supposed to be a community residential facility," said the former resident of his one-time 7th Street home.

Tonight, the home was empty except for two residents. The former resident was on the scene as well. He talked about the man who had been shot and killed by police. He knew him as "Osmond." Police released his name a few hours ago. His name is Osman A. Abdullahi. He was 36. The former resident said that Osman could be delusional, that he talked often about people out to get him. Some of Osman's enemies were from Alaska. "I would say he was schizophrenic," said the resident. "He talked about people coming to get him."

A month ago, he says, he saw Osman laying on his bed. "He had a butcher knife under [the] covers," he recalled. "He was worried about his roommates. He said the roommates were talking in their sleep about him."

This morning, Osman, attacked one of his roommates, a senior citizen, someone the two current residents referred to only as "Lewis." Grant Osborne, 57, a resident at the 7th Street home, says he woke up this morning to Osman standing in the doorway with a knife. He was fuming about his same old problem: People were out to get him. They were coming for him. Osborne didn't understand. The shades were drawn.

Osborne remembers the police breaking down the door. He heard the police ask Osman multiple times to drop his weapon. He says he heard one shot.

Osborne is speaking from his stoop. He is dressed in sweat pants, a sweat shirt and jacket. He is wearing a knitcap. It is 6:15 p.m. Soon two members of the Department of Mental Health's mobile crisis unit show up at the stoop. They offer to talk to Osborne and another resident. They want to talk inside where it is supposedly warm.

When they open the door to 730 8th Street, it is immediately apparent that inside will not work. There is blood in the foyer. It has pooled and congealed in spots. In one area, there is a small squiggle of bloody flesh.

Blood splatter or blood smears are on the lower right corner of the wall. Mobile Crisis calls it in. They want to see about getting this cleaned up. "There's still blood on the floor," one tells the authorities. "Nobody's here except for the people that live here."

"There is blood in the hallway," she tells the police during a second call. "This is a biohazard." It is 6:45 p.m. Police say they are done with the crime scene. It isn't their job to clean up the blood. A police cruiser soon passes by. And then another.

The carpet is drenched with blood and fluids. It's not quite a carpet. It looks like the foam layer that comes with the carpet. The foam is duct taped to the floor and stairs. In the kitchen, the sink is stopped up. The garbage disposal switch does nothing. Also, Osborne says one of the bathrooms is "messed up."

The former resident says he had to move because his bedroom had a mold problem. The former resident eventually leaves. He says he is headed for a niece's house in Maryland. He carries with him a loaded down garbage bag. If anyone needs him, he says, he will be at a local psych facility in the morning.

It is freezing inside 830 7th Street. Osborne says sometimes the heat comes on. Sometimes it's just cold. Upstairs there is a blood stain in the hall.

There is no one there to supervise the men. There is no one there to make sure the heat works, to clean up all the blood on the floor. Mobile Crisis makes a call to the proprietor–Mark Spence of an organization called "Hope Finders." Mobile Crisis has to leave a message.The men say they haven't seen him in a while.

I later reach Spence. He says that he has yet to visit his property since the shooting death of Osmond. "I wasn't down there," he says. "I know all about it. I really don't have any comment."

Osborne says he has been living at 830 7th Street for no more than a year. When he first arrived, he says, "everything was brand new." He doesn't know how many group homes or rooming houses he's lived in. There was one in Baltimore. There was a stay at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington. Now, there is uncertainty.

The two employees from Mobile Crisis do not think it is a good idea for Osborne to stay at 830 7th Street. They bring up the blood.

Osborne is prepared to leave, he says. He agrees to get in their van and find other shelter options. He tells one of the employees that he left all of his clothes and belongings in his first-floor room. But that he doesn't care. The employee assures him that he can get more clothes. All he carries with him to the van is a small, half-filled plastic bag. His nose is running. His sweat pants have seen better days. But his tan work boots look new. Osborne takes a seat in the far back corner of the van.

Osborne just stares out the window and takes in the car's heat.

There is one resident left at 830 7th Street NE. He tells mobile crisis that he doesn't want to go with them in their van. There is not much else mobile crisis can do. The resident quietly closes the door, walks back across the blood, and on inside.

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  • http://google Abdirahman A Abdullahi

    Why was my brother shot in the head. Why did the office shot my brother in the head. The office could shot him at the leg or the hand that he care the knife. My family and I will like justice.

  • Lee

    Joson, I don't know why you believe what you believe. Here are some points for you to consider before judging officers.

    Edged weapons: traditional and emerging threats to law enforcement


    The 21-foot rule, a dogma of law enforcement training, has held that at a distance closer than 21 feet, a suspect with an edged weapon in hand could stab an officer before that officer could fire two shots. However, one researcher found that an individual can cross 30 feet in 2 seconds and suggested that the person could travel 70 yards before succumbing to injuries created by an officer's firearm. (14) According to the FBI, "There is sufficient oxygen within the brain to support full, voluntary action for 10 to 15 seconds after the heart has been destroyed." (15)

    This suggests that 21 feet is an insufficient safety zone during an edged-weapon encounter. Unlike shooting a firearm, lashing out with an edged weapon is a primitive, instinctive action that a subject can accomplish in that 10- to 15-second window. At the beginning of the 20th century while conducting operations in the Philippines, members of the U.S. Marine Corps found that insurgents Insurgents, in U.S. history, the Republican Senators and Representatives who in 1909–10 rose against the Republican standpatters controlling Congress, to oppose the Payne-Aldrich tariff and the dictatorial power of House speaker Joseph G. Cannon. , although fatally wounded in the chest, still could move forward and issue a final blow from their edged weapons, seriously wounding or killing Marines. These experiences support the FBI data that even after being mortally wounded, a suspect with a knife still can inflict injury or death to an officer.

  • spirit equality


    The only problem with your account is that the suspect who was killed allegedly approached officers with a pole. A pole is not an "edged weapon".

    A person who is shot in the heart by a high caliber firearm will not be able to continue a swing with a pole with any appreciable velocity. In fact, people who get shot tend to be pushed backwards by the impact. Not much chance of a suspect who has been shot, with a pole in hand, stumbling forward 21 feet and doing any appreciable damage to anyone.

    I pay my tax dollars for officers to be trained well enough to handle someone swinging a pole without killing them. Mace, Tasers, kneecap shots...pick your option.

  • Lee

    Jason, clearly you have a bias against police officers. The story says the suspect stabbed his rommate, had a knife and a pole. I don't know what you expect officer to do in that situation. By the way when someone is shot, unlike in the movies they don't get pushed backwards, that is a movie trick; they can still charge the officer and do damage. For your information, MPD issues Tasers to the SWAT team only, policc officer are trained to shoot at the largest part of the body in order to stop the threat, not to shoot guns out of peoples hands or to shoot then in the knees; again, another movie trick. If they did that, then you would be writing a story about how the police maimed the poor suspect for life, or more realistically, about the officers death. For someone who claims to be a professional journalist your research is lacking; of course you did no research before writing this trash, you're just repeating what you heard. Clearly, your editors are not doing their jobs and fact checking your work before giving permision for publication. The next time you write a story about use of deadly force, I would encourage you to do your home work and check with the experts about this subject. Since you have a bias against the DC Police, I suggest the Capitol Police, FBI, US Department of Justice, or the US Park Police. What you have done here is disgraceful!

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  • Lee


    Here is a primary example why edged weapons v. non-lethals are dangerous to police officers. This article was published in American Police Beat

    Officer Down
    Stabbed Cop Mounts Amazing Recovery
    Written by Robert Mladinich
    On the evening of January 15, just hours after a pilot "landed" U.S. Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, NYPD Sgt. Timothy Smith of the 101 Precinct in Queens responded to a seemingly routine job regarding an emotionally disturbed person (EDP). The police had been summoned to the location by the EDP's wife, who grew concerned when he started babbling incoherently while chopping vegetables with a knife. Armed with a non-lethal Taser gun, Sgt. Smith, an 11-year department veteran, knocked on the bedroom door where the EDP had sequestered himself.
    The EDP responded by pulling open the door and charging him with a knife. Although Sgt. Smith was able to fire the Taser once, the EDP plunged the knife deep into his left eye. The near-deadly incident was all but obscured in the local news by the plane "landing" that the press had dubbed "Miracle on the Hudson."

    Because the knife pierced Sgt. Smith's brain, he initially lost his ability to speak and walk. He endured numerous surgeries, and his doctors were doubtful that he'd ever be able to function normally again. Not surprisingly to anyone who knows him, Sgt. Smith proved them all wrong. On May 15, one day shy of his 36th birthday and four months to the day after the savage attack, he walked out of Bellevue Hospital on his own.

    As scores of police officers serenaded him with "Happy Birthday," he stepped out of a wheelchair and walked about 20 feet into a waiting car. The hospital's trauma director described his recovery as "just about miraculous."
    Ed Mullins, the President of the New York City Sergeants Benevolent Association, was awed by Sgt. Smith's grit and determination, but said those traits were the norm among his members. He was aghast over the fact that the EDP was on the streets in the first place.

    Since 2001 the police had been called to his home 10 times to subdue him, and during that time he has been in and out of psychiatric wards for, among other things, starting fires and threatening neighbors. A mental health review stated that he "has a history of becoming agitated and aggressive in public" when off of his anti-psychotic medication. The question of how much force should be used in handling such dangerous individuals is always the subject of great debate.

    "Each circumstance is different, but this guy was a ticking time bomb," said Mullins. "After this occurred the usual talk about enhanced legislation took place, but the bottom line is all of the legislation in the world is not going to change the decision for a police officer to shoot or not to shoot."

    Right now Sgt. Smith and his family are most concerned with making even more progress after their "Miracle at Bellevue." The sergeant has expressed a great desire to get back to work - sooner rather than later. In the short-term, however, his greatest desire was much simpler. After seating himself in the vehicle that would take him home for the first time in four months, he was asked what he was most looking forward to. "Sleeping in my own bed," he said.

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