BY BILL BROWN, CONTRIBUTIONS BY MORGAN FECTO
UPDATE, FEB 25: Takoma Park Police have released more information about the Feb. 24 murder/suicide on Flower Ave.
The shooter was Takoma Park resident David Draa, a former Marine with Iraq combat experience. The deaths may have been sparked by a combination of Draa’s post-traumatic stress and personal difficulties. Alcohol may have been a factor, toxicology tests result are forthcoming, say police.
Evidence and medical examiner’s findings indicate that Takoma Park resident David Draa apparently shot his friend Steven “Kyle” Hickman from behind as Hickman was kneeling in Draa’s driveway, repairing a flat bicycle tire. Draa then kneeled over Hickman’s body and took his own life. “We believe that Kyle never knew what happened,” says the police statement.
The two friends had gone bike riding Saturday. Hickman had a flat tire on the ride and planned to spend the night at Draa’s apartment. The police do not know why Hickman was atttempting to fix his tire around 1:45 am. The police statement says he “appeared to appeared to have changed his mind regarding fixing the bike tire and possibly planned on riding his bike home.”
Police say “we can only speculate to the causation of that which led to the shooting. There was no obvious argument or physical confrontation.”
The two were not currently co-workers say police, correcting yesterday’s statement. “What we do know is that Kyle Hickman and David Draa worked together previously and had become friends,” says today’s statement. It says “Kyle often was a sounding board for David during their friendship and from family members’ accounts was trying to help David through personal issues.”
TAKOMA PARK, FEB. 25: Early Sunday morning, Takoma Park police responded to a report of gunshots, then a report of two bodies found on Flower Ave.
The calls to the police came around 1:45 am, Feb. 24. Responding officers found two white males lying in a driveway at 7313Flower Avenue, a quiet residential area. Both were confirmed deceased by the officers.
The police report says the property where the two were found was the residence of David Draa, 30, one of the deceased. The other deceased was Steven Kyle Hickman, 30, of Washington, DC. “Initial information leads to the belief that this was a homicide/suicide,” say the police. City police reported on Sunday that the two were friends and co-workers at a Washington school for special needs students, but Monday the school where Draa worked as a teacher said Hickman was not an employee.
No other individuals were apparently involved in the incident, they say. Police caution, however, that “it is premature to determine what circumstances led to or why this shooting occurred.” They say there was “no indication of hostility prior to the shooting.”
Mr. Draa was a teacher at High Road Primary and Middle school, located in SW Washington, DC, one of several High Road schools nationwide. He was a December “staff of the month,” according to a school website. At that time he reportedly had been teaching there for three years.
According to various online sources such as Linkedin, Facebook, and the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, Mr. Draa was a Marine Corp 1st lieutenant. He served in Al-Karmah, Iraq during his nearly 9 years in the military between 1999 and 2008.
After his military service, he worked as a member of the San Diego Police Force for a year. Then he returned to his native Maryland to attain a masters degree in special education at the University of Maryland, College Park, the school where he attained his BA in 2004.
An investigation is ongoing, including autopsies scheduled for Feb. 25 by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.
7313 Flower Ave., Takoma Park, MD driveway where two shooting victims were found.