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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

Friday, October 14, 2016

District Man Pleads Guilty to Charges In Shooting and Assault in Downtown Washington

Defendant Shot One Man, Punched Two Others

            WASHINGTON – Ryan Matthews, 28, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to charges stemming from an incident in which he shot one person and assaulted two others last month in downtown Washington, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.

            Matthews pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to one count of assault with intent to kill, one count of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and two counts of assault. The Honorable Michael Ryan scheduled sentencing for Dec. 16, 2016.  

            According to the government’s evidence, on Sept. 10, 2016, at about 3:15 a.m., Matthews approached a complete stranger in the 1300 block of Connecticut Avenue NW and punched him in the abdomen; the victim fell to the ground. Two of the victim’s friends, who were standing nearby, confronted Matthews and asked why he had punched their friend. At this point, Matthews said words to the effect of, “Do you want a piece, too?” and swung at one of the men with his fist, striking him in the neck. A man who was nearby approached Matthews to ask about what happened and Matthews declared words to the effect of, “I guess you want to fight, too.”

            Matthews then beckoned the man to approach him, and the man told Matthews to come to him instead. At this point, Matthews drew a semi-automatic pistol, walked toward the man, and shot him once at close range in the right side of the chest. Other individuals, who were nearby at the time of the shooting, pursued Matthews and flagged down police officers. Matthews, meanwhile, discarded his shirt as he ran away and threw his gun into a dumpster in an alley off 18th Street NW. Police apprehended him and recovered the weapon. The shooting victim was taken to a hospital and is continuing to recover from his injuries.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended the work of those who responded to the crime and investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Second District. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Diana Lim and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Romano, who investigated and prosecuted the matter.

Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 
Updated October 17, 2016