Washington carjacking suspect charged with murder after passenger dies – NBC4 Washington

A Washington carjacking suspect has been charged with murder after police say she stole an SUV from a hospital with a woman in the passenger seat Monday afternoon and then crashed, killing the woman .

The victim’s daughter had left her mother in the SUV for a while to get her a wheelchair at the hospital, police said.

The victim was Leslie Marie Gaines, of Northeast DC, Metropolitan Police said in an update. She was 55 years old.

The suspected carjacker is Kayla Kenisha Brown, 22, of Southeast, police said.

Brown was charged with murder, kidnapping and carjacking, police said. She is expected in court on Tuesday.

Police have revealed new details about the stunning crime.

Brown was with her family at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, in the 100 block of Irving Street NW, Monday when she walked away from them around 1:11 p.m., police said.

At the same time, the driver of a Mazda SUV stopped in front of the hospital. She went out to get a wheelchair for her mother, who was sitting in the passenger seat.

That’s when Brown got into the driver’s seat and sped off with Gaines still inside.

Eighteen minutes later, around 1:29 p.m., the carjacker was heading north in the 400 block of Sixth Street NW in the Judiciary Square neighborhood, about 3 miles south of the hijacking scene. car. She attempted to turn left onto D Street but “failed to negotiate the turn” and crashed into the building at 601 D Street NW, police said. The building houses the offices of the U.S. Attorney and the D.C. Attorney General.

Brown got out of the crashed SUV and tried to run away, but was immediately stopped by an MPD captain, who spotted the crash in his rearview mirror.

Gaines was taken to the hospital, where she was clearly dead.

“This woman didn’t deserve this”

One woman said she was leaving work for lunch when she heard a loud scream. Moments later, she said she saw the SUV crash into the building. She said her heart goes out to the victim’s family.

“This woman didn’t deserve this, and I just pray for her family and what she’s going through, because it was hard to watch, so I know it must be hard for them to deal with this,” Ja’ said von Hill. .

No information was immediately released about the suspected carjacker’s possible motives. The investigation is ongoing. An autopsy will determine the cause and manner of Gaines’ death, police said.

DC saw carjackings more than double in 2023. In 2024, so far, carjackings are down 33% compared to the same period last year, according to MPD data. Police say 69% of crimes involve guns, 68% involve juveniles, and 90% of those arrested report being Washington, DC residents.

The Metropolitan Police are using more helicopters to tackle carjackings. According to police data, in 2023 there were 958 carjackings but only 173 arrests. Authorities hope that by 2024 they will be able to solve many more of these cases. News4’s Mauricio Casillas reports.

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.

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