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Press Release

District Man Gets 26 Years for Shooting of a Pregnant Woman inside Apartment

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

            WASHINGTON – Joshua Hemphill, 32, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced to 26 years in prison today for two counts of assault with intent to kill while armed, and other charges, in an early morning shooting that took place in Southeast Washington on September 21, 2018, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Chief Pamela Smith, of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). 

            A jury found Hemphill guilty on June 7, 2023.

            According to the government’s evidence, on September 21, 2018, Hemphill went to the home where his former romantic partner was staying with her friend. In a fit of rage, he fired one round into the door and made his way inside the apartment. He then chased the two women into a small closet where he fired two rounds from approximately three feet away. The first round hit the friend in the left hand and the second hit her in the back of her head. The friend was 24 weeks pregnant at the time she was shot. The victim received emergency neurosurgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and both she and her child survived.

            In announcing the sentencing, 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. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Loeb and Angela Buckner, current Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bonnie Thompson, Dana Joseph, Ryan Sellinger, and Jodi Lazarus, Appellate Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nick Coleman and Bryan Han, Paralegal Specialists Tiffany Fogle, Garcia Clarke, Lynda Randolph, and Tijuana McPhail, Supervisory Paralegal Specialists Linda McDonald and RaeShawn Johnson, Supervisory Victim Services Advocate Roderick Johnson, Victim/Witness Advocates Lu Lan and Rogers Dickerson, Witness Security Specialists Orlando Teel  and Lesley Slade, and Victim/Witness Service Coordinator Maenylie Watson. 

            Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys LaVater Massie-Banks and Brian Yang, from the Domestic Violence Unit who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated February 7, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-96