A murder, the arrest of the murder suspect, and an unrelated 7-vehicle crash following a speeding incident and flight from police occurred March 16 and 17 in Silver Spring and Takoma Park, MD.
Montgomery County police released information about the murder of Brentwood, MD resident Johathan Lopez, 24 years old. The victim was shot in Sliver Spring, near the Piney Branch Road and Dale Drive intersection.
The police press release said Lopez was conscious but suffering from at least one gunshot wound when first responders arrived. He was transported to a local trauma center for treatment, but died from his wounds early March 17.
That evening police arrested Erick Ramirez, 24 years old, of the 8300 block of Piney Branch Road, charging him with first degree murder. He was apprehended in the 4400 block of Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.
County police said investigation by homicide detectives revealed that Lopez was in a relationship with a woman who had a child fathered by Ramirez. Police did not identify the woman. On the evening of March 16, the woman and Lopez went to pick up the child from Ramirez at his Piney Branch residence. Lopez waited outside in the vehicle.
Lopez and Ramirez exchanged text messages while the woman was inside the Ramirez’ residence. The two men continued to text after Lopez, the woman and the child left the immediate area in a vehicle, Shortly after Lopez received one of Ramirez’ text messages, he returned to the area where Ramirez lived. Ramirez, said police, confronted Lopez, shot him, and fled on foot. After being shot, said the police, Lopez ran a short distance before collapsing on the sidewalk.
Ramirez remains in Washington DC police custody awaiting extradition. Ramirez will be transported to Montgomery County for arraignment and bond review.
Also on March 17 a Takoma Park police officer attempted to stop a speeder on East-West Highway. The speeder, Malik Williams, 19, of Hyattsville, Maryland, fled, causing a 7- vehicle crash. One person was sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
A Takoma Park Police Department press release says that around 6:35 pm a city police officer observed Williams speeding west on East-West Highway (Route 310) toward the New Hampshire Avenue intersection. Williams was driving from Prince Georges County into Takoma Park. The city border lies about a block to the east of New Hampshire Avenue on East-West Highway. After crossing New Hampshire Avenue, the officer attempted a stop.
But, Williams made a sharp u-turn in the middle of the street and fled at a high rate of speed. The police statement says the officer did not pursue Williams because of his erratic and dangerous driving.
However, shortly after Williams fled the officer heard a very loud crash. Approaching the wreck, which occurred just east of the New Hampshire Avenue intersection of East-West Highway (Route 410), she saw Williams had crashed into and damaged six vehicles, some of which were parked, others in traffic lanes. One person was sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
One car was hit with enough force to push it 2 – 3 car lengths, said Catherine Plevy, Takoma Park Police Public Information Officer. Williams’ vehicle appeared to be totaled. Williams was arrested and taken to the Takoma Park Police Department where he was later released pending a court date. He is facing charges of Speeding, Fleeing and Eluding Police, Hit & Run, and “a myriad of other citations,” according to the police announcement.