Kevin Sutherland, a recent graduate of American University and a former Congressional intern, was randomly attacked on the train at about 12:50 p.m. The stabbing occurred while the train was in the NOMA-Gallaudet Metro Station, police said, which is in the 200 block of Florida Avenue, Northeast.
Jasper Spires, 18, has been charged with first-degree murder after he was arrested Monday, police told the Washington Post.
The stabbing is believed to have occurred during an attempted robbery, police told the Post. Sutherland was headed to a Fourth of July gathering with friends.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Suspect Was Arrested 2 Days Before the Stabbing
He was taken into custody Monday morning.
Spires was arrested on a charge of robbery using force and violence in Northwest Washington on July 2, the Washington Post reports.
According to D.C. police records, Spires, 18, was arrested Thursday on an unrelated charge of robbery using force and violence in Northwest Washington.
Court records show that he was released Friday, July 3, after the charges were reduced to two misdemeanors, simple assault and assault on a police officer. He pleaded not guilty in that case, details of which were not immediately available on Sunday.
2. Sutherland Worked as a Digital Strategist in D.C.
Sutherland was working as a digital strategist for New Blue Interactive in D.C., according to his LinkedIn profile.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the loss of our dear employee and friend Kevin Sutherland,” New Blue Interactive said in a statement on its Facebook page. “We are heartbroken to hear of his passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family during this difficult time.
Sutherland said on his website, “I am a millennial proudly living and working in our nation’s capital. I’m passionate about politics and technology and have extensive skills in social media, graphic design, web design, video and photography. I’m driven to use these talents to effect political change and improve our world.”
3. He Is Originally From Connecticut & Graduated From American University in 2013
Sutherland grew up in Trumbull, Connecticut, and graduated in 2013 from American University, according to his website.
He was active in student government while at American. Sasha Gilthorpe, the current president of the university’s student government said in a statement:
Kevin Sutherland was truly the best of us. He was incredibly kind. He was utterly and completely devoted to his friends. He used his intelligence and his talents to be a champion for what he believed in. We are all better for knowing Kevin.
4. He Was an Intern for Congressman Jim Himes
Sutherland worked as an intern for Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes twice while in college. Himes posted a tribute to Sutherland on Twitter and changed his profile picture to one of him with his former intern:
Himes told the Washington Post that Sutherland grew up in a family where politics was a major topic of discussion. His father, Douglas Sutherland, was a candidate for state representative last year and has helped organize events for Himes’ campaigns in the past.
“He was really shy but really politically attuned kid,” Himes told the Post. “He was about as gentle a soul as they come.”
Sutherland wrote a letter to his local newspaper, the Trumbull Times, about how he became interested in politics in support of his father’s run for state representative:
My dad and I both got involved in local politics at the grassroots level about 10 years ago, collecting petition signatures door-to-door. For me, that early experience in our neighborhood demonstrated the powerful effect public service can have on people’s lives. It led me to attend American University in Washington D.C. and to focus my career on improving our government. It led my dad, once retired, to continue to become more involved in local issues here in Trumbull.
At all levels, our government has become tragically divisive, polarized and gridlocked. Whenever possible, it is important for us to elect officials who are committed to addressing our problems — not their own political careers or special interests.
5. He Enjoyed Taking Photos in Washington, D.C. & Elsewhere
Sutherland posted a video to YouTube featuring many of the photos he has taken around Washington, D.C. He says on his website that he enjoyed “taking my camera out to photograph the beautiful” D.C. area.
“Whether it was taking photographs of the Lincoln Memorial or U.S. Capitol or at a get-together on a trip with friends, he was so invested in documenting that beauty of life,” his friend, Sarah McBride, told the Washington Post.
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