Man charged with murder Tuesday in South Alfred Street homicide

Man charged with murder Tuesday in South Alfred Street homicide

By Chris Teale (File photo)

The Alexandria Police Department announced late Tuesday it has charged a suspect in connection with the slaying of Melaku Abraha on the 200 block of S. Alfred St.

George McGee II, 22, of Capitol Heights, Md., was charged with murder and robbery, and is being held without bond in Prince George’s County. Abraha was robbed and assaulted on March 28, then died of his injuries in a local hospital April 1.

“As always, I am impressed by the hard work of our Alexandria Police Department detectives and their unwavering commitment to the victim and his family,” said Police Chief Earl Cook in a statement. “Their dedication resulted in an arrest in less than two weeks. I would also like to thank the Prince George’s County Police Department for their assistance in arresting the suspect.”

Department spokeswoman Crystal Nosal did not have a timeline for when McGee will be extradited to Alexandria. She said he is being held under a fugitive from justice warrant, meaning he is wanted to face charges in another jurisdiction.

Nosal said McGee is the only suspect wanted in connection with this case.

Mayor Allison Silberberg paid tribute to Abraha at city council’s legislative meeting Tuesday night. She said he was a 15-year resident of Old Town and went for a walk in his neighborhood every evening. Silberberg mentioned that one of his daughters is set to be married in May.

“Certainly our thoughts and prayers go out to the whole Abraha family and the large community that he touched,” she said. “He was certainly a man of the people.”

The slaying shocked a primarily residential section of South Alfred Street, close to the Alfred Street Baptist Church across the intersection of Duke and South Alfred streets.

At around 9:33 p.m. on March 28, officers responded to the report of an assault in the area. Upon arriving, they found the 69-year-old city resident Abraha suffering from a head injury yet conscious and conversant.

Abraha was taken to a local hospital, and investigators later determined he was assaulted during the course of a robbery. After the incident, the victim’s condition deteriorated and he died April 1.

Neighbors told ABC7 and FOX5 at the time that they heard a noise, and after coming outside, they saw Abraha lying on the ground. Family friend Genet Mulugenat Ima told ABC7 that Abraha had walked to an ATM nearby, and that his attackers watched him withdraw money.

“Then they followed him, beat him. He was down and lost a lot of blood,” Ima told reporters.

Friend and neighbor Jerusalem Shimeles told ABC7 at the time the homicide was unexpected, especially as Abraha was well liked.

“I don’t know who did this to him,” Shimeles said. “Last time we had a big snow, he is the guy who helped us shovel. He’ll be missed; he’s a really nice guy.”

The slaying was the first homicide in Alexandria in 2016. There were four homicides last year. On December 4, 22-year-old Eduard David Chandias Almendarez was found dead in Four Mile Run Park, then on November 9, Jose Luis Ferman Perez, 24, was found dead in Beverley Park with head and neck wounds. Leon Williams, 37, was shot and killed October 7 on Belle Pre Way, and Shakkan Elliot-Tibbs, 22, of Woodbridge was shot and killed July 2 along the 700 block of N. Fayette St.

In January, police officials announced arrests in connection with the killings of Almendarez and Perez. The murders of Williams and Elliot-Tibbs remain unsolved.

The Alexandria Police Department asks that anyone with further information about this incident contact Detective Bikeramjit Gill at 703-746-6751.