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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Events Leading to Shooting That Wounded Eight-Year-Old Girl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
His Accomplice Fired Gunshots After Attempted Robbery In Middle of Afternoon at Southeast Washington Apartment Building

            WASHINGTON – Nathaniel Patten, 22, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to five years in prison for his role in events leading to a shooting that seriously wounded an eight-year-old girl, Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen, Jr. announced.

            Patten pled guilty in November 2014, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to charges of assault with intent to commit robbery while armed and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was sentenced by the Honorable Rhonda Reid Winston. Following his prison term, Patten will be placed on three years of supervised release.

            A co-defendant, the gunman, Karie Brown, 20, pled guilty in October 2014 to charges of aggravated assault while armed; assault with intent to rob while armed, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was sentenced in December 2014 to 16 years in prison.

            According to the government’s evidence, Brown and Patten decided on the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 to rob an individual they believed sold marijuana. The men were armed with a .22-caliber Ruger semi-automatic pistol, which Brown was carrying. The men headed to the 1200 block of Valley Avenue SE, an area they knew that the individual had frequented.

            Brown and Patten pretended to be waiting to gain access to a locked apartment building on the block. The eight-year-old girl – who was going outside to play in the snow - held the door open for them. Brown and Patten then followed the individual who they were targeting into the building as he went upstairs. They then attempted to rob him and gain access to an apartment that he was about to enter. The individual escaped and ran downstairs. Brown shot once at the individual while inside the building and then fired multiple shots at him outside.

            The shots missed the individual, but hit the girl in the torso. The bullet struck inches from her heart. It caused severe bleeding, and she was rushed to an emergency room and placed in critical care. She required immediate surgery and could have died but for the timely intervention of medical assistance.

            According to the government’s evidence, Brown and Patten fled together, not stopping to provide any assistance to their young victim, and Brown discarded the firearm, which was found by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). The defendants were both found and arrested soon after the shooting in the 3500 block of Wheeler Road SE.

            In announcing the sentence, Acting U.S. Attorney Cohen commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Muyiwa Bamiduro; Paralegal Specialist Theresa Nelson; Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark, and Victim/Witness Security Specialist Tanya Via. Finally, he expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tejpal S. Chawla and Kendra Briggs, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated May 8, 2015

Press Release Number: 15-088