Construction worker shot and killed on Howard University campus

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Construction worker shot and killed on Howard University campus

A 14-year-old boy was arrested and charged with murder in the shooting death of a construction worker on Howard University’s campus.

D.C. police arrested the 14-year-old from Northeast D.C. on Monday. His identity was not immediately released.

Rafael Adolfo Gomez, 34, of Beltsville, Maryland, was shot during an apparent robbery attempt as he arrived to work on the school’s campus in Northwest D.C. on the morning of Thursday, July 13. He worked for a contractor on a steam plant project.

The teen made his first court appearance on Tuesday. In two hours of testimony, the lead detective on the case described a crime spree that took a deadly turn.

The 14-year-old committed a carjacking, a second carjacking, an armed robbery and then murder, police said. The crimes were caught on surveillance video.

The defense said no one had positively identified the teen and that the suspects had been wearing masks and hoods. The defense said the 14-year-old boy has no prior criminal history.

The teen is accused of driving a car he had carjacked to the home he shared with his mother, getting out and going into their apartment, as caught on video. His mother was in court on Tuesday.

After an almost 4-hour-long hearing, a judge ruled the 14-year-old suspect will have to stand trial. After hearing that ruling, the boy put his head down and began to cry.

He will be held pending his next hearing on Friday. New crime legislation gives judges more latitude to hold suspects before their trial dates.

Gomez’s widow, Jazmin Flores, told Telemundo 44 that she hopes the suspected shooter is tried as an adult.

“I don’t forgive him. I hope the full weight of the law falls on him. I know that won’t bring back my husband. That’s OK. He needs to pay,” she said in Spanish.

Police believe three other young people were involved in the crimes. They have identified another juvenile, but no one other than the 14-year-old suspect has been arrested.

Gomez was shot in the 600 block of Bryant Street NW at about 6 a.m., police said. He was rushed to a hospital, where he died.

He had just spoken with his wife by phone.

“He called me and said, ‘My love, I just got to my work,’” she said in Spanish. “’I will change my clothes, and then I will call you when I get my lunch.’ Apparently, he just hung up the phone, and it happened.”

Howard president Wayne A. I. Frederick previously said in a letter to the school community that Gomez was a “husband, father, and friend.”

“I join the campus community in offering my sincere condolences to the family, and all who mourn this tragedy,” Frederick said.

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