A 16-year-old boy charged with killing four people and committing several other violent crimes in D.C. was released from custody just weeks before the homicides because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, sources tell News4.
Michael Mason, of Southeast D.C., was arrested last week and charged in the killings of 31 year-old Terrance Griffin, 20-year-old Jaszel Henderson, 21-year-old Brea Moon and 18-year-old Antwuan Roach. All four young people were killed in Ward 7 and Ward 8 in April and May.
Sources tell News4 that Mason was arrested in 2018 on a number of gun charges. He was held in youth custody until this March, when he was released because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.
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Cmdr. Leslie Parsons, a Metropolitan Police Department veteran with more than 20 years on the force, called Mason’s alleged shooting spree “extremely disturbing.”
“He’s the only one I remember being that young with that many cases,” he said.
The killings began on April 7, with the shooting of Moon in the 3900 block of Alabama Avenue SE. Mason allegedly had been trying to shoot a man. That man ducked behind Moon and she was shot instead. Moon was taken to a hospital, where she died.
Mason lived in the 300 block of I Street SE, in a neighborhood of stylish townhouses close to the Navy Yard area. He’s charged with crimes — including five non-fatal shootings — in far Southeast.
Court documents say Mason was linked to the Avenue faction of the group Simple City, which operates off Alabama Avenue SE. Police used cellphone records to track his movements.
Mason was charged as an adult with first-degree murder, assault with intent to kill and assault with a dangerous weapon.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police. A reward of as much as $25,000 is available.