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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Shooting Innocent Bystander in Southeast Washington

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Targeted Another Man in Broad Daylight on Busy Street; Gunfire Hit Woman in the Back; Victim is Now Paralyzed

            WASHINGTON – Jaz Pratt, 20, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to seven years in prison for a summertime shooting on a busy street in Southeast Washington that struck a 56-year-old woman, leaving her permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

            The sentencing was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

             Pratt pleaded guilty in June 2021, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to aggravated assault while armed. He was sentenced by the Honorable Robert D. Okun. The judge sentenced Pratt to a total of 10 years in prison but suspended three years of that time on the condition that he successfully complete three years of probation after his release from prison.

            The shooting took place on Aug. 21, 2020, in front of a gas station in the 3000 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE. According to the government’s evidence, Pratt and co-defendant Davon Robinson approached a man at approximately 8 p.m. They began a conversation and, soon afterwards, Robinson stepped back, pulled out a pistol, and shot the man once in the hip at close range. The man then fled up the street.  

            Immediately after the shot, Pratt took a few steps back, still facing in the direction of the wounded man. He pulled out a pistol and aimed it at the man. He fired once, missing the man but hitting the victim, an innocent bystander, in the back as she was walking down the street. The entire incident was captured on surveillance video. At the time of the shooting Pratt was on pre-trial release in a separate gun possession case.   

            The victim has been hospitalized and/or living in a rehabilitation center on a near-continuous basis since the shooting.

             Pratt was arrested on Sept. 2, 2020. He has been in custody since that time.

             Robinson, 28, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty to charges in this case and in an unrelated armed robbery. He was sentenced in October 2020 to a 10 ½-year prison term.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). They also acknowledged the efforts of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Alesha Matthews, Victim/Witness Program Specialist Latrice Washington-Williams, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Vivien Cockburn. Finally, they expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Miles E. Janssen, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated February 1, 2022

Topic
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 22-21