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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 14, 2018

District Man Sentenced to 37 Years in Prison for Shooting That Killed Innocent Bystander

Victim Had Just Finished Having Breakfast With Mother

            WASHINGTON – Kelby Gordon, 32, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 37 years in prison for killing an innocent bystander and firing into an occupied bedroom during a broad-daylight shooting in Southeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

            Gordon was found guilty by a jury in July 2018 of second-degree murder while armed, assault with intent to kill while armed, and related firearms offenses. The verdict followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable Milton C. Lee. Following his prison term, he will be placed on five years of supervised release. In sentencing the defendant, Judge Lee called the crime a senseless and foolish act.

            According to the government’s evidence, on March 24, 2016, at approximately 11:15 a.m., the victim, Gabriel Turner, was walking in a cut-through behind the 2600 block of Birney Place SE, headed to a nearby bus stop. Mr. Turner, 46, who had intellectual disabilities and who was working at the FBI as a janitor, had just finished having breakfast with his mother – as he had every morning. Gordon, meanwhile, was in the area and, after seeing another man pull out a large amount of money, decided to rob that man near the mouth of the cut-through.

            However, as Gordon attempted to rob the man, the man began to pull out his own firearm. Gordon, in his own words, gave the man no chance, and pulled his gun out first. The two men began running down the cut-through behind Mr. Turner.

            Unbeknownst to Mr. Turner, Gordon planted his feet and began firing towards the man, who fled in the same direction that Mr. Turner was walking. The man who Gordon was targeting weaved around Mr. Turner and escaped, but a single bullet struck Mr. Turner in the upper back as he ducked. The bullet lodged itself in Mr. Turner’s sinus – killing him almost instantly. Two other bullets flew into an occupied apartment across the street, just missing the head of a second victim as he returned to bed. 

            An investigation led to Gordon’s arrest on April 17, 2016, by the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force. In addition to this case, Gordon has been charged with drug trafficking offenses in a separate matter in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He pled not guilty to those charges and that case remains pending.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu, Chief Newsham, and Assistant Director in Charge McNamara commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), as well as the FBI/MPD Safe Streets Task Force and the FBI’s Cellular Analysis Survey Team, which helped identify Mr. Turner’s assailant. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the United States Park Police, the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, the United States Marshals Service, and the District of Columbia Department of Corrections.

            They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Service Coordinators La June Thames and Katina Adams-Washington; Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark; Administrative Services Specialist Sallie Rynas; former Forensic Operation/Program Specialist Benjamin Kagan-Guthrie; Investigative Analyst Zachary McMenamin; Criminal Investigator John Marsh; Paralegal Specialists Lornce Applewhite and Jeffrey Bloom; Litigation Technology Specialist Thomas “Ron” Royal, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily A. Miller, who initially investigated the case.

            Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lindsey Merikas and Monica Trigoso, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
18-342
Updated December 14, 2018