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Press Release

Jury Finds District Man Guilty of Assault with Intent to Kill and Other Charges Stemming from 2019 Shooting

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

Defendant Shot Victim as Victim was Leaving the Scene

            WASHINGTON – Dominic Copeland, 33, of Washington, D.C., was found guilty on September 21, 2023, of 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 charges are in connection with a shooting that occurred on April 26, 2019, in the Truxton Circle area of Washington, D.C.

            The verdict was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Acting Chief Pamela Smith, of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).  A sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 29, 2023.  

            According to evidence presented at trial, the victim drove to a local fast-food restaurant after work to meet Copeland. He was then directed to follow Copeland’s car to the area of N Street and First Street NW. Once parked, the victim entered the back seat of the car Copeland was in and handed Copeland money. Copeland took the victim’s money and, after a dispute, told the victim to “take the loss like a champ.” 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 a rest on the side of the street. MPD officers promptly responded to the scene and found that the victim was unable to physically move because one of the gunshot wounds temporarily paralyzed him. 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. Evidence showed that two bullets entered the victim’s upper back, one of which punctured his lung causing a severe medical emergency that the treating physician declared would have resulted in the victim’s death had he not received 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. 

            U.S. Attorney Graves and Acting Chief Smith commended the work of those who investigated the case from the MPD. 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 Sam Danai and Richard Carlton, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated September 26, 2023

Topic
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-575