Memorial to Bernis Carr

End of Watch:  February 16, 1978
Rank: Officer   Badge No.  551
Age: 31   Years of Service: 11 years
Location of Death: 4801 Georgia Ave, NW
Duty Assignment: First District

 

Circumstance:

Officer Bernis Carr was shot and killed when he was identified as an officer during a robbery while he was off duty. He was in a bar at 4801 Georgia Avenue, NW, when four men entered it. They emptied the register and then began robbing patrons. Officer Carr had prepared himself for a shootout by removing his gun from its holster and concealing it. When the robbers discovered the empty holster Officer Carr opened fire but the suspects returned fire, striking him several times.

Biography:

Officer Carr had served with the Metropolitan Police Department for 11 years. He was survived by his wife.

 

Articles from the Washington Post – transcribed by Dave Richardson, MPD/Ret.
THE OFF DUTY SHOOTING DEATH OF OFFICER BERNIS CARR JR. ON FEBRUARY 16, 1978, AND HIS DECISION TO GO DOWN FIGHTING.
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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED FEBRUARY 17, 1978, PAGE A1
Robbers Kill Off-Duty D.C. Policeman in Go-Go Club
An off-duty District of Columbia policeman was fatally shot in a Georgia Avenue go-go club last night when four armed robbers, searching customers for valuables, learned he was an officer and killed him on the spot, D.C. police said.

The robbers shot the officer, Bernis Carr Jr., 34, once through the right side of his head and once in the middle of the chest. They fled from the club with less than $100, police and the club proprietor said.

Doctors pronounced Carr dead at 9 p.m., about 75 minutes after the robbery at Jimi’s, a go-go club and restaurant at 4801 Georgia Ave. NW

Last night, police issued a lookout for three black males about 19 or 20 years old and one black male about 17 or 18. Police did not say last night whether the four suspects had been seen after fleeing the club.

According to police, four men, one of whom wore a ski mask, burst into the club about 7:45 p.m., shortly after it had opened, and shouted that it was a holdup.

The only people in the club at that point were Carr, seated at the bar, the bartender and three go-go girls, police said. The intruders forced all five to lie on the floor, police said.

Exactly what preceded the shooting was not clear early this morning, although police gave the following preliminary account:

As the five persons lay face down on the floor and were being frisked, one robber apparently felt Carr’s service revolver and rolled him onto his back. Another robber shouted, “Get his gun.” Off-duty D.C. police officers are required to carry their service revolvers.

Carr then told the men,” Hey, man, I’m the police. Just take my money. I won’t bother you.” At that point one gunman shouted at Carr, “….you” and shot him twice as he lay on the floor.

Police said Carr was wearing a civilian coat and his regulation police shirt, pants and tie.

After an ambulance had taken Carr to the hospital, detectives on the scene found Carr’s service revolver and? Lying in a pool of blood on the floor of the club.

The club is located at the intersection of Decatur Street where a residential neighborhood abuts a strip of discount shops, bars, grocery stores and storefronts along Georgia Avenue.

Club proprietor James Atkins described the club as a combination restaurant and luncheonette, featuring go-go dancing. A sign outside the club announced, “Go-Go Dancing Tonight.”

Police said last night that the holdup was virtually “a carbon copy” of one Wednesday night at The Ebony Hut, a bar at 4726 14th Street NW. Police said four robbers, some wearing ski masks, burst into that club about 8 p.m., drew guns and forced everyone to lie on the floor. They escaped with an undetermined amount of money. No one was injured.

Newly-appointed police Chief Burtell Jefferson rushed to the Washington Hospital Center as Carr was being admitted.

Earlier, he had telephoned the officer’s wife, Dorothy, to tell her that Carr had been shot.

While she was en route to the hospital, Carr died, police said, and she was diverted to the homicide office at police headquarters downtown. There, with Jefferson present, Sgt. Rosalind Parker told Mrs. Carr her husband had died. Parker is assigned to the emergency family services team of the department’s community relations division and is specially trained to handle such situations, police said.

The Carrs have two children whose ages were not immediately known.

Carr had worked the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift yesterday before staying on overtime to work at a basketball game at Terrell Junior High School, First and Pierce Streets NW., according to his supervisor, Lt. Earl Tucker. Carr had worked the last five or six years as an adviser to school safety patrols and to provide police security to about nine elementary schools, Tucker said.

“He liked kids, and he did his job very well. “Whenever he was given an assignment, I knew it would be done well,” Tucker said.

Carr had come to the police force from North Carolina after spending four years in the Air Force, Tucker said.

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED FEBRUARY 18, 1978, PAGE C1
4 Sought in Slaying of Policeman
District of Columbia police circulated sketchy descriptions of four young men and a lookout for a late-model car yesterday as they pressed the search for the killers of a policeman in a Georgia Avenue go-go club Thursday night.

The four men were last seen speeding east on Decatur Street about 8 p.m. Thursday in a 1974 or 1975 Dodge or Plymouth, tan or beige, with a missing left hubcap, police said.

Moments earlier they had fatally shot Officer Bernis Carr Jr., 34, as he and four employees lay on the floor of the club during a holdup.

Chief Burtell Jefferson, in a statement to the press yesterday, called the slaying “brutal and senseless,” one that “shocked” the police force and the community. He expressed confidence that the slayers would be apprehended “and dealt with severely by the courts.”

Investigators disclosed yesterday that Carr’s .38 caliber police issue revolver had been fired twice while the off-duty officer was in the club. But police said they did not know whether Carr or one of the bandits had fired the shots. One of the bullets from the gun was dug out of the club ceiling, and police said the other may have struck one of the bandits.

“Four shots were fired in the club, we know that,” said Capt. Arif Mosrie, head of the homicide unit. The robbers fired two shots into Carr’s head and chest, apparently when they discovered that he was a policeman, police said. He died at Washington Hospital Center about an hour later.

Meanwhile, police speculated that the same young men who shot Carr also may have held up a 14th Street bar the night before and may have killed a man during a holdup in Northeast Washington on Feb. 9.

“These killers are still out there and if they are one and the same as the suspects in the other incidents they may well kill again,” Mosrie said. He urged citizens with any information about the incidents to call investigators at 626-2727.
Homicide detectives worked double shifts last night and about 50 uniformed police combed the neighborhood around the club, Jimi’s, at 4801 Georgia Ave. NW, in the search for clues.

Police still were having difficulty last night putting together the sequence of events leading to the officer’s death, largely because the witnesses, who were themselves on the floor of the dimly lit club, gave conflicting and sketchy versions of what had happened.

As best as police could determine, the robbers entered the club at about 7:45 p.m. Thursday, announced a holdup and forced the occupants—a bartender, three go-go girls and Carr, who had been sitting at the bar—to lie on the floor of the club.

The robbers then searched each of the victims, taking about $100 from them. Before they could get to the cash register, police said, one of the gunmen apparently recognized Carr as a policeman.

Witnesses had reported that one of the robbers was frisking Carr and may have detected his service revolver, which off-duty officers are required to carry, or may have recognized his blue uniform tie, shirt and trousers, which he wore under a sports coat.

“Hey man, I’m the police,” Carr reportedly said as the robbers rolled him onto his back. He also asked the intruders simply to take his money and not kill him, according to some police accounts.

“…. you,” one of the robbers reportedly shouted at the prostrate officer and began firing, according to several police sources. One bullet entered the right side of his head and the other struck the middle of his chest. Some of the witnesses were adamant that Carr never drew his service revolver, Mosrie said.

The robbers then fled, without taking time to rifle the cash register.

In a lookout bulletin issued yesterday afternoon, police described the four as:

A black make, 17 to 22, 5 feet 4 to 5 feet 9, 130-to 150 pounds, slim build, wearing a green ski mask, a three-quarter-length dark color coat and brown pants.

A black male, 19 to 24, 5 feet 5, 140 to 160 pounds, dark complexion, small build, short dark hair, dark leather jacket and dark pants.

Two black males, small builds, 19 to 21, 5 feet 4 to 5 feet 7, both wearing dark clothing.

The getaway car, which police said resembled an unmarked police cruiser, may have been driven by a fifth man, police said.

Police believe the same men may have held up the Ebony Hut, a bar at 4726 14th St. NW at about 8 p.m. Wednesday. The four, some wearing ski masks, and one carrying a rifle or shotgun, burst into the club, forced the patrons and employees to lie on the floor, and fled with an undetermined amount of money.

On Feb. 9, three young men, one carrying a sawed-off shotgun and two with handguns, entered a Chinese restaurant at 1601 Benning Rd. NE, announced a robbery, and within moments shot and killed an employee, Sze Cheng, when the victim apparently did not obey their commands. Cheng did not speak English. He was shot in the neck and died at the scene.
Carr was a 12-year veteran of the force who lived in District Heights, Md., with his wife, Dorothy, and their two children.

He had worked as a counselor for school safety patrols in the first police district, and was described by his superiors as a “fine officer.”

“Officer Carr had a great love for this city and a strong desire to help the youth of Washington grow up to become responsible adults and leaders in this community,” Chief Jefferson said yesterday.

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED FEBRUARY 20, 1978, PAGE B1
5 Charged in Slaying Of D.C. Police Officer
District of Columbia and Prince Georges County police arrested five young men yesterday in last weeks’ fatal shooting of an off-duty D.C. police officer.

Two of the suspects were arrested at their homes, and a third at Prince George’s General Hospital, where he was being treated for a bullet wound. Two other suspects appeared voluntarily yesterday at D.C. police headquarters, where they were charged in the slaying.

Capt. Arif Mosrie, commander of the D.C. police homicide squad, said one of the suspects, Joe Lynn Wright, 21, of 1504 D St. NE, had been shot in the elbow shortly before arriving at Prince George’s General Hospital Thursday night.
Hospital employees notified Prince Georges County police of Wright’s presence, and county police later notified D.C. police, Mosrie said. Another police spokesman added that Wright, who checked into the hospital as “Calvin S. Brown,” had been driven there in a car that resembled a getaway car already being sought by police.

The shooting occurred about 7:45 p.m. Thursday, after four men, at least three armed with pistols, entered Jimi’s a go-go club at 4801 Georgia Ave. NW and ordered four employees and off-duty officer Bernis Carr Jr., the clubs lone customer, to lie on the floor. Carr was fatally shot moments later, apparently when the holdup men recognized him as a police officer, police said. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Washington Hospital Center.

Although police praised the club’s employees as helpful witnesses, Mosrie said it was still unclear yesterday what had led to the shooting of Carr, or how he was identified as a police officer. Carr was on his way home from work, however, and wearing part of his uniform under a civilian jacket.

According to other police accounts, Carr, after being identified as an officer, told the gunmen to take his money and that he wouldn’t bother them. At that point, one of the robbers cursed Carr and then shot him, police said.

Carr’s service revolver, which had discharged twice, was found lying in a pool of blood along with his uniform tie, but police were unable to say yesterday whether Carr had actually fired the weapon.

The gunmen fled immediately after the shooting in a waiting auto driven by a fifth man, police said.

Police issued a lookout for a tan 1974 or 1975 Dodge or Plymouth Thursday night, and Mosrie said yesterday that the car had been located. “It was a Chrysler product similar to the one that we were looking for,” he said.

Mosrie said the suspects would be arraigned Monday in Carr’s killing, and “we are going to present evidence to the grand jury concerning some other incidents…” Earlier, police had compared the Jimi’s robbery to two similar holdups, one at the

Ebony Hut in the 4800 block of 14th Street NW, and the other at a Chinese Carryout on Benning Road NE.

Sze Cheng, a restaurant employee, was fatally shot during the Benning Road robbery on Feb 9, but police declined to say yesterday they could connect the club suspects with that incident.

In addition to Wright, the suspects were identified as Gregory W. Williams, 25, of 6333 Landover Rd., Cheverly; Calvin O. Gorham, 18, of 1365 Kennedy St. NW; Dion M. Wilson, 23, of 1322 Massachusetts Ave. SE, and Ricardo A. Roberts, 19, of 1224 Southern Ave. SE.

Police said Williams and Gorham were arrested at their homes about 5:15 a.m. yesterday. Roberts appeared voluntarily at the D.C. police homicide office shortly after 11 a.m., just as police had begun a news conference to announce the earlier arrests. Wilson came to police headquarters about 8 p.m., accompanied by his mother, police said.

Williams, Gorham, Wilson and Wright were charged with first-degree murder on arrest warrants. Roberts was charged with homicide, the usual D.C. police practice when no warrant has been secured.

Williams, arrested by Prince Georges County police, subsequently waived formal extradition procedures, and was brought to D.C. police headquarters. Wright remained under guard at Prince George’s General Hospital.
Although Wright’s injury and his effort to obtain treatment obviously were keys to yesterday’s arrest, Mosrie also credited the work of two D.C. police officers, one assigned to the 4th Police District and one with the Youth Division. “Working separately, “he said, they “developed information that led us onto these suspects and then it was just a matter of running out leads and doing the legwork that you have to do.”

Gorham’s father, Clarence T. Gorham, who owns and manages Ed’s Billiards at 4605 14th St. NW, said yesterday that his son was a recent high school graduate who was interested in boxing and singing, and had been looking for work. ” He was a good son…he was liked by everybody who knew him,” said Gorham.
Police had come by his billiards parlor on Friday night, said Gorham. “They said they wanted to talk to Calvin and Greg Williams,” he said. But as far as he knows, they had not actually contacted his son until yesterday’s arrest, he said.
Gorham added that the police “were very nice about what they were doing.”

Harriet C. Matthews, who identified herself as the younger Gorham’s girlfriend, said she had known him for about a month. “We would shoot pool together and sing together,” she said.

A memorial service with police honor guard was held for Carr yesterday evening at Marshall’s Funeral Home here.

A delegation of District policemen and officials will travel to Wilmington N.C., Carr’s home, for a service Tuesday night. Burial will be at National Cemetery in Wilmington Wednesday afternoon.

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED FEBRUARY 21, 1978, PAGE C2
4 Arraigned in Policeman’s Slaying

Four suspects in last week’s fatal shooting of an off-duty police officer were arraigned in D.C. Superior Court, where Judge George Revercomb ordered two of the defendants held without bond, and two on $100,000 bond.
Gregory E. Williams, 25, and Dion M. Wilson, 23, the two held without bond pending a preliminary hearing, had both been on conditional release for past crimes, a prosecutor told the court. Williams had been convicted of armed robbery and

Wilson of drug charges, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele Goldfarb.
Goldfarb told the court that the two other suspects, Calvin O. Gorham, 18, and Ricardo A. Roberts, 19, have made statements to police.

All four defendants have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of D.C. Police Officer Bernis Carr, who was fatally shot in the head and chest during a robbery at Jimi’s Lounge, 4801 Georgia Ave., NW, last Thursday.

Police would not say which suspect was believed to have fired the shots that killed Carr.

A fifth suspect, Joe Lyn Wright, 21, has yet to be arraigned because he is recovering from a bullet wound at Prince George’s General Hospital.

Police said the arrests were the result of a massive manhunt, labeled “Operation Skyhook,” that had employed a total of 45 officers between Thursday night, when the robbery and killing occurred, and Sunday morning, when the first arrests were made.

Police recovered a sawed-off shotgun and pistol, Goldfarb told the court, adding that the government has an “extremely strong case.”

Wright was shot during last Thursday night’s robbery, police said, and checked into the hospital later that night under an assumed name.

Judge Revercomb appointed separate public defenders to represent each of the four defendants, whose families were with them in court yesterday.

A procession bearing Officer Carr’s casket passed by the 1st District substation at Fifth and E Streets SE yesterday morning where Carr had worked as a youth division officer. Carr will be buried in North Carolina.

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED FEBRUARY 25, 1978, PAGE B4
Suspects on Officer’s Death Held for Grand Jury Action
Four suspects in last week’s fatal shooting of an off-duty police officer were held for action by a grand jury after a hearing in D.C. Superior Court yesterday.

D.C. Superior Court Judge William S. Thompson found that there was probable cause that all four men had been involved in the shooting of D.C. police officer Bernis Carr, who was fatally shot in the head and chest Feb. 16 during a robbery at

Jimi’s Lounge, 4801 Georgia Ave. NW. All four men are being held on $100,000 bond.
The only witness presented by the government yesterday at the hearing was D.C. police detective Hugh F. Triggs, who testified to an affidavit in support of the arrest of the four men last weekend and merely said on the witness stand yesterday that the facts in the affidavit were true.

The affidavit said a citizen had informed the police that one of the suspects told him before the Jimi’s robbery that they were planning to rob a store in the area. Later that night, according to the same citizen, one of the suspects called and said they had been involved in a shooting and that one of his acquaintances had been shot, the affidavit continued.

A fifth suspect is still in Prince George’s General Hospital with gunshot wounds, where he was admitted the night of the shooting under an assumed name.

The affidavit also disclosed publicly that at least two of the suspects in the Jimi’s shooting are suspects in a robbery at the Ebony Hut, 4726 14th St. NW that occurred a few days earlier.

Triggs also swore in the affidavit that witnesses to the murder had told police that one of the suspects tripped as he left the scene and dropped his gun there, and that the gun was recovered police.

The four men who were held for grand jury action yesterday are Gregory E. Williams, 25, of 6333 Landover Rd., Cheverly; Calvin O. Gorham, 18, of 1365 Kennedy St. NW; Dion M. Wilson, 23, of 1322 Massachusetts Ave. SE, and Ricardo A. Roberts, 19, of 1224 Southern Ave. SE.

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED JULY 13, 1978, PAGE C7
Man, 21, Pleads Guilty In Slaying of Officer
A 21-year-old Northeast Washington man, one of five young men charged in connection with the shooting death last February of an off-duty D.C. police officer, pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court yesterday to first-degree murder while armed.

Judge Alfred Burka said he will sentence the man, Joseph L. Wright, on Aug. 8. Wright, who is being held without bond, lives at 1504 D St. NE.

The shooting occurred during a holdup at Jimi’s Lounge at 4801 Georgia Ave. NW on Feb 16. Officer Bernis Carr Jr., 34, was shot in the head and chest, apparently after one of the robbers discovered he was a police officer. Four lounge employees also were in the room at the time of the incident, the U.S. Attorney’s office has said. Wright was shot in the elbow during the holdup.

Because of his age, Wright is eligible to be sentenced to an indeterminate term under the Youth Corrections Act. If he is sentenced as an adult–-a decision to Judge Burka— Wright faces a minimum of 20 years in prison on the first-degree murder charge.

Last Friday, three of the five men charged pleaded to second-degree murder and armed robbery in connection with the holdup and shooting. Those men are Calvin O. Gorham, 18, of 1365 Kennedy St. NW; Dion M. Wilson, 23, of 1322 Massachusetts Ave. SE and Ricardo A. Roberts, 18, of 1224 Southern Ave. SE.

The fifth defendant, Gregory E. Williams, 25, is scheduled to stand trial Sept. 7. Williams, who the government contends fired the shots that killed Carr, lives at 6333 Landover Rd., Cheverly.

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED SEPTEMBER 16, 1978, PAGE C5
Witness Says Suspect Told of Slaying Policeman

A D.C. Superior Court jury yesterday convicted 25-year-old Gregory Earl Williams of first-degree murder, armed robbery and assault in connection with the shooting death last February of an off-duty D.C. police officer during the holdup of a Georgia Avenue go-go club.

The jury of eight women and four men deliberated for one hour before returning the verdict to Judge John F. Doyle. Government witnesses had testified during the five-day trial that Williams told them he shot Officer Bernis Carr Jr., 34, because Carr reached for his service revolver and “tried to be a hero” during the robbery.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry R. Benner contended that the robbery was carried out by five young men, but that Williams had fired two shots from a silver, .22 caliber revolver that struck Carr in the head and chest.

Carr, a 12-year veteran of the police force and father of two children, fired two shots from his service revolver before being killed, according to government evidence. One shot lodged in the bar ceiling, and another struck one holdup man, the government said.

The incident occurred about 7:45 p.m. last Feb. 16 at Jimi’s Lounge at 4801 Georgia Ave. NW. Carr, two dancers and the bar manager were in the lounge having a drink at the time of the robbery and shooting, according to the government case.
Prior to Williams’s trial, three men charged in connection with the shooting and holdup had pleaded guilty in Superior Court to second-degree murder and armed robbery. A fourth man pleaded guilty to first-degree murder while armed. Those four are awaiting sentencing, and Williams is to be sentenced Nov. 17.

In addition to murder, Williams was convicted of the armed robbery of Carr and the bar manager and two counts of assault with intent to commit robbery while armed in connection with the dancers.

Williams faces a minimum sentence of 20-years in prison on the murder charge and could be sentenced to life in prison on each of the four additional convictions, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

In a signed statement given to a police detective at the time of his arrest, Williams said he and the four men had cruised the Georgia Avenue NW neighborhood the night of the incident and talked about “raising a joint,” according to testimony at the trial. “It was a spur of the moment thing” when they decided Jimi’s would be the target of the holdup, according to the statement.

No evidence was offered during the trial in William’s defense. His attorney, Carrie L. Fair, challenged the credibility of the government’s witnesses and questioned their ability to identify Williams as one of the robbers. She also argued that police used improper procedures to obtain the statement from Williams.

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED NOVEMBER 14, 1978, PAGE A7
Man Gets 12 Years in Slaying of Officer
Dion M. Wilson, 24, was sentenced in D.C. Superior Court yesterday to serve a minimum of 12 years in prison in connection with the shooting death of off-duty police officer Bernis Carr Jr. During a holdup of a Georgia Avenue NW go-go club by five young men last February.

Wilson, who lived at 1322 Massachusetts Ave. SE, had pleaded guilty before Judge Alfred Burka to second-degree murder and armed robbery. Calvin O. Gorham, 18, and Ricardo A. Roberts, 18, who pleaded guilty to the same charges. Joseph L. Wright, 21, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and Gregory E. Williams, 25, who was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder, armed robbery and assault, have not yet been sentenced.

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED NOVEMBER 16, 1978, PAGE B3
Youth Is Sentenced In Officer’s Death
A 19-year-old Washington man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed robbery in connection with his role in the shooting death last February of an off-duty police officer was sentenced in D.C. Superior Court yesterday to an indeterminate prison term under the Youth Corrections Act.

Judge Alfred Burka sentenced Ricardo A. Roberts, of 1224 Southern Ave SE, to serve up to 30 years for murder and up to 25 years for robbery, the federal parole board determines when Roberts should be released, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry R. Benner.

Roberts is the second of the five men to be sentenced in connection with the slaying of Officer Bernis Carr Jr.

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED NOVEMBER 18, 1978, PAGE D2
Judge Sets 20-Year Term in Policeman’s Slaying

Joseph L. Wright, 21, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death last February of an off-duty D.C. police officer, was sentenced in D.C. Superior Court yesterday to serve a minimum of 20 years in prison.
Officer Bernis Carr was killed during a holdup at Jimi’s Lounge at 4801 Georgia Ave. NW by five men. Wright, who lives at 1504 D St. NE, was shot in the elbow by one of two shots fired by Carr from his service revolver before he was killed.
Judge Alfred Burka also has sentenced two other men who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed robbery. A fourth man who entered the same guilty plea, and Gregory Earl Williams, 25, who was convicted by a jury of firing the shots that killed Carr, have not been sentenced.

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A childhood friend of a man accused of the fatal shooting of an off-duty police officer in a Georgia Avenue go-go club last February told a D.C. Superior Court jury yesterday that the man told him he shot the officer when he “tried to play hero.”

The testimony came during the trial of Gregory Earl Williams, 25, who the government contends fired the two shots from a .22 caliber revolver that killed Officer Bernis Carr Jr., 34, after Williams detected that Carr was a police officer.

Erwin S. Waddy Jr., of Hyattsville, told the jury that Williams telephoned him shortly after the holdup and said, “We want to stick up this joint and there was this cop in there. He tried to play hero. I had to give it to him.”

“He didn’t want to do it but the way it went down, it was either him or them,” Waddy testified that Williams told him. During the testimony, Waddy also told the jury that the gun identified by police as the murder weapon belonged to him.
Williams is charged with felony murder—murder during the commission of a crime—armed robbery and assault with intent to commit robbery. Four other men, also arrested in connection with the holdup and shooting, have pleaded guilty in Superior Court to various charges.

Another witness yesterday, a girl friend of one of the holdup men, testified that Williams told her that he had “fired on a cop” and said, “the cop shot first.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry R. Benner told the jury in his opening statement that the government evidence would show that Williams discovered Carr was a police officer as he searched him for a wallet and found that Carr was wearing a holster.

The bar manager and two dancers who were in the club at the time testified that they heard one of the men shout “this…is the police. I ought to blow his brains out.” At that time, the witnesses said, they heard gunfire, but were unable to see who fired the shots.

Benner contends that the evidence will show that Carr drew his service revolver and fired two shots before he was killed. One shot hit the bar ceiling and another wounded one of the holdup men, Joseph L. Wright, 21, in the elbow.

Williams’ defense attorney, Carrie L. Fair, reserved her right to make an opening statement in the case. At the outset of the trial, she indicated to the court that she did not intend to call any witnesses in William’s behalf. During the trial, she has repeatedly questioned government witnesses on their ability to identify Williams as one of the holdup men.

The incident occurred at about 7:45 p.m. last Feb 16 at Jimi’s Lounge at 4801 Georgia Ave., NW. According to the witnesses who were in the lounge, one man entered the restaurant first and asked to use the bathroom. Moments later, three men, one wearing a green ski mask, entered and announced a holdup, the witnesses testified. A fifth man remained outside in a getaway car; the government contends.

The government also contends that Williams was armed with a silver .22 caliber revolver during the robbery. Another man was armed with a sawed-off rifle, the third man carried a .32 caliber gun and the fourth man was unarmed, the government asserts.

After the shooting the men fled from the bar with a small amount of money, they had taken from a cash register, Benner said the evidence would show.

William’s childhood friend, Waddy, testified that Williams and two or three other men had met with him earlier in the afternoon on the day of the incident and said they were interested in “making some money.”

Williams later telephoned him, searching for a doctor to administer to the man injured in the holdup, and told him about the incident, Waddy, said. Waddy told the jury he then told the police what he knew.

Three of the five men arrested in connection with the robbery and shooting of Carr have pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed robbery. They are Calvin O. Gorham, 18, of 1365 Kennedy St. NW; Dion M. Wilson, 23, of 1322 Massachusetts Ave. SE, and Ricardo A. Roberts, 18, of 1224 Southern Ave. SE. The injured man, Joseph Wright, who lives at 1504 D St. NE, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder while armed. All four are awaiting sentencing.

The trial for Williams, who lives at 6333 Landover Rd., Cheverly, is expected to resume next week.

 

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OFFICER CARR’S KILLER, GREGORY EARL WILLIAMS, IS STILL SERVING A LIFE SENTENCE AT THE LEE HIGH SECURITY PRISON AT JONESVILLE, VIRGINIA. HE HAS SERVED 29 YEARS SO FAR.

JOSEPH LYNN WRIGHT WAS RELEASED ON OCTOBER 16, 2003, AFTER SERVING ABOUT 25 YEARS.
THE ACTUAL TIME SERVED FOR THE OTHER THREE IS UNKNOWN.