On September 21, an indictment was returned charging 31-year-old Gerald Brevard III with first-degree murder while armed, assault with intent to kill while armed, aggravated assault while armed, mayhem while armed, and multiple firearm offenses. Brevard, previously spared a felony conviction by a Soros-backed Democrat prosecutor for violent crimes, will likely face additional charges, as he is also believed to be responsible for two shootings in New York City, one of which was fatal.
The indictment alleges that the attacks were bias-related hate crimes, in which Brevard sought out homeless men on the basis of their socio-economic status. According to a statement released Wednesday by the U.S. attorney's office for the District of Columbia, Brevard may therefore face up to 1.5 times the maximum term of imprisonment if found guilty at trial.
Extra to the hate-crime multiplier, the indictment charged Brevard with aggravating circumstances, deeming the murder to be "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel." If that is found to be the case by a jury at trial, Brevard faces a maximum of life imprisonment without the possibility of release on the murder charge.
A two-city shooting spree
On March 3 and on March 8, Brevard reportedly shot homeless men with the intent to kill. Both men survived and were taken to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
According to D.C. Metropolitan police, on March 9 at 2:52 a.m., Brevard allegedly stabbed, shot, and set fire to a third homeless man, 54-year-old Morgan Holmes.
MPD Chief Robert Contee indicated that while the victim had thermal burns resulting from his tent having been set on fire, he ultimately died from his stab and gun wounds.
Brevard is said to have targeted homeless men in New York City as well.
On March 12, two homeless men were shot without provocation. Although the first victim, shot in his arm on King Street near Varick Street, survived, the second, shot in the head and neck nearly twelve hours later, at 5 p.m., was pronounced dead on the scene.
According to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, "He looked around. He made sure no one was there. And he intentionally took the life of an innocent person."
Gerald Brevard III was arrested on March 15 by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who tracked him down with the help of an anonymous tip as well as by analyzing Brevard's social media posts and images captured by an ATM near Union Station.
His arrest was captured on film.
Contee indicated that the shootings appeared random and Brevard's motives were unclear.
Brevard's grandfather told WNBC that his grandson was himself once homeless. Both Brevard's father and grandfather suggested that the suspect is mentally ill, the former going so far as to blame the judicial system.
Barbara Bazron, the director of D.C.'s Department of Behavioral Health, stated that Brevard had been enrolled in services at one of the city's agencies in 2018 and treated again in 2019 at St. Elizabeth's Hospital. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but found competent and fit to participate in his defense.
This arrest was not Brevard's first run-in with the law. He had been arrested multiple times in D.C., including once in 2018 for assaulting a police officer. He pled guilty to assault with a deadly weapon in 2019.
The Washington Post reported that Brevard was once charged with slamming a female hotel worker's head into a wall, before assaulting and smothering her. Only weeks later, he stalked another hotel worker and broke into an apartment before being apprehended by police.
He was initially charged with burglary and abduction with intent to defile and linked to a fully loaded pistol magazine found in the squad car in which he was transported. However, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano's office offered Brevard a plea deal to plead to two misdemeanors.
Brevard was sentenced to 11 months in jail, but was released in half that time.
Fairfax County police had stated in an email that "Brevard is a threat to the public." Had he been convicted as originally charged, he would have spent a minimum of 25 years in jail.
According to Republican Virginia Attorney General Jason S. Miyares, the lenient sentencing, which kept Brevard from spending much time in prison, enabled him to go on to shoot five innocent victims.
Descano, a George Soros-backed Democrat prosecutor, who has been subjected to two recall efforts, defended the plea deal.
Sean Kennedy, a board member of Virginians for Safe Communities, said of the 2021 attempt to recall Descano that he and other like-minded progressive prosecutors "are continuing to flout the rule of law, failing to enforce the law and are endangering our families and communities."