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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison for the 2019 Shooting of a Man in Northwest D.C.

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Victim and Defendant Were Co-Workers

            WASHINGTON – Dominic Copeland, 33, of Washington D.C., was sentenced today to 132 months in prison for assault with intent to kill while armed, aggravated assault while armed, two counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Chief Pamela Smith of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            A jury found him guilty on September 21, 2023. In addition to the prison term, Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan ordered Copeland to serve five years of supervised release.

           According to the evidence presented at trial, on April 26, 2019, the victim drove to a local fast-food restaurant after work to meet Copeland. After he was directed to follow Copeland’s car to the area of N Street and First Street NW and park, the victim entered the back seat of the car Copeland occupied and handed him money. Copeland took the victim’s money and, afterwards, a dispute occurred between them. The victim exited and returned to his own car and got in the driver’s seat. Copeland then exited the car he was in, pulled out a handgun, and shot at the victim multiple times. The victim began to drive away but was hit twice in the upper back and crashed into multiple parked cars before finally coming to rest on the side of the street. MPD officers immediately responded to the scene and found that the victim was unable to physically move because he was temporarily paralyzed by one of the bullets. The victim promptly identified his shooter to police as “Dominic,” whom he knew from work and, up to that point, had considered a friend. Police recovered six fired cartridge casings from the scene. Two bullets entered the victim’s upper back, with one puncturing his lung causing a severe medical emergency. The treating physician declared that bullet would have resulted in the victim’s death had he not received prompt medical care. Doctors left the bullets inside the victim’s body after determining that it would cause even more injury to attempt to remove them. 

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Smith commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the U.S. Marshals Service and acknowledged the efforts of all of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rachel Forman, Seth Gilmore, Gregory Kimak, and Paul Courtney, Paralegal Specialist Debra McPherson, and Supervisory Paralegal Specialist Renee Prather.

            Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Saman Danai and Richard Carlton, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated March 22, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-267