Man shot dead by DC police on Friday remains hospitalized

Placeholder while loading article actions

Lelonie Curry feels like a magnet for tragedy.

In February, one of his sons suffered a heart attack while standing outside their house. He froze to death from hypothermia. He had just recovered from being stabbed in a robbery three months earlier and died on the same date as Curry’s mother in 1998.

Curry lost her husband of 26 years to lung cancer in 2013 and a daughter, Tamar E. Curry, in 2005. She was shot trying to break up a dispute, Curry said.

So Curry said she was pissed off when she recalled being so close to the scene of her son’s shoot without knowing it at the time.

While driving east on Mississippi Avenue SE on Friday, she ran into a police roadblock investigating a shooting that forced her to take a detour. It wasn’t until Sunday that Curry said he learned the roadblock had cordoned off the scene where one of his sons, Rahman Mills, 29, had been shot by a DC police officer moments earlier.

“I do my best to stay straight,” she said in an interview on Sunday.

DC police said officers responded to the 1900 block of Mississippi Avenue SE on Friday for a report of domestic violence. They had been given a description of the alleged attacker and told he had a gun, police said. Upon arrival, officers approached Mills, but police say he ran to the back of the block, where an officer reported spotting him with a gun.

The officer told Mills to drop the gun “numerous” times, police said in a statement. When he failed to comply, the officer shot Mills once before repeatedly asking him to drop the gun, police said.

The officer fired again, hitting Mills a second time. He was taken to hospital, where police say he was treated for serious injuries. Police had no update on his condition on Sunday. He faces charges of aggravated assault, assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of an unregistered firearm, assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, police said.

Officer shoots man in southeast DC after domestic violence call

The DC Police Department’s Force Investigation Team is investigating the shooting, and the officer who shot Mills has been placed on administrative leave, per department policy. Detectives are reviewing body camera footage, police said.

Curry said he found out about the shooting on Sunday, when a relative told him Mills had been shot. She said she did not know which hospital he was in or what condition he was in. The police did not call her, she said.

But she said she had no doubts about what happened. She just wonders if her son was actually holding the gun rather than somewhere on top of him, and if he was physically able to put it down while in pain from the first hit.

Court records show Mills has been arrested multiple times for felony charges, the most recent of which was a 2019 charge of running from a law enforcement officer. He pleaded guilty and was due to be sentenced on August 19.

Curry said she didn’t know much about her son’s love life, saying he had many girlfriends. But she said he was brought up in a family where her husband set a good example.

“He never got hold of me,” she said. “They were raised with a mother and a father.”

Curry said she knew Mills was carrying a gun, but she said he did it out of fear – something the whole family shares since Curry’s eldest son was taken into police custody there. has several years as a witness in a criminal case.

“We were all scared,” Curry said. “We have always been afraid since they took my eldest son into custody. I had to move around and deal with some things since they did this.

She said Mills was part of the district’s Empowerment Project, a program that aims to train people who are difficult to employ due to criminal records, poor skills, homelessness, history of substance abuse and other factors.

Mills, she said, had learning disabilities and mental health issues. He had been in special education classes all his life and hadn’t graduated from high school, Curry said.

Curry works as a youth correctional officer at the district’s youth services center and she said her children have learned to stay out of trouble. She tries to keep an eye on them, she says, but they are careful what they tell her, knowing she might refute.

“My kids, they’re keeping secrets probably because they know I’m freaking out and getting upset because I don’t tolerate this,” she said.

The stress of the death of her son, Rashid Mills, six months ago left her so saddened that she stopped working due to disability. Curry said she struggled to cope with the fact that he was dead, collapsed a few feet away in the garden because no one knew he was outside.

Now she says she wonders where Rahman Mills is. She says she wished the police had contacted her and let her know where he is being treated.

“At least let me know he’s okay – that he’s okay,” Curry said. “That’s it.”

Razzan Nakhlawi contributed to this report.

About Rhonda Lee

Check Also

Helping young women and girls escape gang violence and abuse

We have secured nearly £115,000 to prevent vulnerable young women and girls from being sexually …