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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 27, 2015

Maryland Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison For Shooting Outside Northeast Washington Shoe Store

Four People Were Hit by Gunfire on Busy Street in Broad Daylight Attack

            WASHINGTON – Victor L. Coley, 52, of Upper Marlboro, Md., was sentenced today to a 40-year prison term for a broad daylight shooting that took place outside a shoe store in Northeast Washington, Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen, Jr. announced.

            Coley was found guilty in February 2015 of a total of 15 charges, including four counts of assault with intent to kill while armed. The verdict followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable J. Michael Ryan.

            According to the government’s evidence, the shootings took place at 1:10 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2013 outside the Payless shoe store at the corner of Minnesota Avenue and Clay Place NE. Coley shot one man in the back and another man in the back of the head and then the chest.  As the second victim managed to stumble away, Coley fired additional shots, two of which struck innocent bystanders.  The man who was shot in the back is paralyzed from the waist down; the other three victims have recovered from their injuries.  Dozens of people were outside the shoe store and at a nearby bus stop at the time that the gunfire began.

            The investigation revealed that Coley had tried to enlist the intended targets as part of his drug-dealing crew, but they refused. After the shooting, he hid the gun in a house behind the shoe store. Coley was arrested minutes later, while coming out of the house.  He has been in custody ever since.

            In announcing the sentence, Acting U.S. Attorney Cohen praised the work of the officers and detectives who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Richard Cheatham and Stephanie Gilbert; Victim/Witness Advocate Diana Lim, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Eckert, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney James Smith. Finally, he expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey Nestler and David Misler, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Press Release Number: 
15-085
Updated April 29, 2015