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The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

MPD announces reward for information on homicide suspect who escaped GW Hospital

The suspect escaped while officers were changing his handcuffs, police said.
Erika Filter | Staff Photographer
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Pamela Smith speaks in Sep.

Updated: Sept. 7, 2023, at 4:37 p.m.

Police on Thursday are still searching for a homicide suspect who escaped custody at GW Hospital Wednesday, offering a $25,000 reward for anyone who can offer information that leads to the whereabouts of the suspect.

Acting Metropolitan Police Department Chief Pamela Smith said police are still looking for Christopher Haynes, the 30-year-old man who physically assaulted a police officer and escaped custody at the hospital at about 3:38 p.m. Wednesday. Smith said at a press conference in the Elliott School of International Affairs that Haynes was charged in the murder of Brent Hayward, a 33-year-old man from Gainesville, Virginia, who was shot in Northeast D.C. on Aug. 12.

Smith said the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force — a division of the U.S. Marshals Service — apprehended Haynes in Manassas, Virginia, Wednesday morning. MPD officers were processing Haynes at the department’s homicide branch when he complained about a preexisting ankle injury, leading officers to transport the suspect to GW Hospital at about 3 p.m., Smith said.

Smith said one officer accompanied Haynes from the homicide branch to GW Hospital, and one officer met the pair at the hospital, which aligns with MPD policy. She added that MPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau, which investigates officer misconduct within the department, is still investigating yesterday’s proceedings — including whether Haynes was properly handcuffed — to ensure they followed MPD policy.

“The suspect was not secured, from my understanding, securely,” Smith said. 

Smith said Haynes fled the hospital after physically assaulting an officer who was changing his handcuffs at the hospital. She said officers called for assistance after his escape, leading to a multi-agency search for the suspect. 

She declined to provide the status of the officer who was physically assaulted, saying it was still under investigation. 

“I want to thank everyone for their assistance yesterday afternoon,” Smith said. “We are working very closely with our local and federal partners to apprehend Mr. Haynes.”

The $25,000 reward consists of $10,000 from MPD, $10,000 from the FBI and $5,000 from the U.S. Marshals, Smith said. 

Haynes escaped custody at 3:38 p.m. at the 900 Block of 23rd St. NW, according to a statement by the Metropolitan Police Department Wednesday. Officials issued a GW Alert at 3:53 p.m., advising community members not to engage with a “dangerous individual” reported at 24th Street and New Hampshire Avenue.

Officials issued a shelter-in-place order via GW Alert at 4:02 p.m. and canceled evening classes and events in another notification at 5:54 p.m. Authorities searched for the subject with helicopters, police checkpoints and K-9 units in Foggy Bottom for more than four hours, before GW lifted the shelter-in-place order at 8:15 p.m. and officers took down their outpost for the manhunt at 8:22 p.m.

University President Ellen Granberg sent an email to the GW community at 3:16 p.m. Thursday, saying Wednesday’s “public safety emergency” in Foggy Bottom caused “fear, anxiety and uncertainty” across the University’s campuses. She said community members’ health and security is the University’s foremost priority.

“GW continues to work closely with the Metropolitan Police Department throughout this process, and we will continue to update the community as needed,” Granberg said in the email.

This post was updated to reflect the following:

The Hatchet updated this post to include a statement from University President Ellen Granberg.

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About the Contributors
Grace Chinowsky, Senior News Editor
Grace Chinowsky is a junior majoring in journalism and mass communication from Seattle, Washington. She leads the News section as The Hatchet's 2023-2024 senior news editor, and previously served as the assistant news editor for the Metro beat.
Erika Filter, News Editor
Erika Filter is a senior majoring in international affairs from Carson City, Nevada. She leads the Metro beat as one of The Hatchet's 2023-2024 news editors and previously served as the assistant news editor for the Student Government beat.
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