Washington, D.C./ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 05, 2024
22-Year-Old Woman Charged with Felony Murder After Fatal Carjacking Crash in Washington D.C.Source: Unsplash/ Ye Jinghan

A tragic incident unfolded at the busy intersection of 6th and D Streets NW on Monday, culminating in a violent car crash and an immediate arrest. Metropolitan Police Department officials reported that at around 1:11 p.m., a 22-year-old woman, later identified as Kayla Kenisha Brown, allegedly commandeered an occupied vehicle from Washington Hospital Center.

After abdicating from her family's company, Brown spotted and seized the opportunity to steal a Mazda SUV while the driver was helping a passenger secure a wheelchair—according to the Metropolitan Police Department statement, the vehicle was left running at the hospital's entrance. With the original passenger, a 55-year-old woman named Leslie Marie Gaines, still inside, the suspect then fled the scene.

Subsequently, their flight was cut short by a catastrophic clash with the sides of a building at approximately 1:29 p.m., only minutes after the initial theft. The crash occurred as Brown attempted to make a turn onto D Street, where the Mazda collided with 601 D Street, NW. Metropolitan Police Department quickly apprehended Brown when she tried to leave the scene by foot, caught in the act by an Metropolitan Police Department captain.

The passenger, Gaines, was later pronounced dead at a local hospital, her seat having become an unwitting theater to her last moments on earth. Following consultation with the United States Attorney’s Office, Brown now faces charges of Felony Murder, Kidnapping, and Carjacking—a decision made in the shadow of tragedy's full weight.

Detectives continue to piece together the harrowing events that led to this fateful incident, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will discern the final narrative of Gaines' death in the autopsy's language. The aftermath of the crash drew a collaborative response, with the Metropolitan Police Department expressing gratitude for the support from the United States Attorney’s Office and the United States Marshals present at the crash scene.