Residents' concern grows after slaying on Capitol Hill

Local,Crime,Naomi Jagoda

A week after a 28-year-old man was fatally shot on Capitol Hill, residents of the normally safe neighborhood remain troubled by the incident.

Jason Anthony Emma was found with multiple gunshot wounds inside his car on Dec. 24 on the 1200 block of C Street NE. Police are continuing to investigate his slaying and have released a video of two persons of interest who were seen at a nearby school.

Stephanie Deutsch, who has lived on Capitol Hill for 35 years, said that there recently has been heightened concern about crime in the neighborhood because of Emma's death and the August beating and robbery of a man near Eastern Market.

Residents in the area haven't been as worried about safety in the past several years as they had been during the 1980s, but "in the last six months, it's kind of reemerged," Deutsch said.

Another Capitol Hill resident, James Dahlgren, said he is concerned about being on the streets after 10 p.m. when it gets very dark.

He and his partner moved to this neighborhood a few months ago because they "thought it was residential, safer."

Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells said that when a tragic incident like Emma's slaying occurs, "it's natural to want even more police."

Wells said he wants to have a meeting with D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier about Emma's slaying and other recent crimes, such as a shooting on Wednesday on the 1000 block of 14th Street SE.

"I want [the police department] to gather and share as much information as possible on the recent crimes and any crime trends, along with their plan to improve safety," he said in a statement.

Despite the concern over the homicide, some Capitol Hill residents said the incident hasn't changed their behavior.

Nicole Venable, who lives on the block where Emma was found, said she had already been taking safety precautions.

"It was upsetting, but I don't know if it makes me more nervous because it was an aberration," she said.

Nick Alberti, a commissioner for the Advisory Neighborhood Commission where the homicide took place, said that "still, people find this a desirable neighborhood."

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