WASHINGTON — Police arrested a 16-year-old teenage male last Wednesday suspected of shooting nine people, killing four of them during a series of violent crimes throughout the Washington D.C. area.
Michael Mason reportedly conducted the murder spree over a 7-week span between April 7 and May 22 in two separate districts, the Metropolitan Police Department said, according to the Washington Post.
Mason denied his involvement during interviews with homicide detectives, according to an arrest affidavit. One of the victims included a woman who was used as a “human shield” by a person targeted by a gunman, police said.
Police said the fatal shooting involving one woman, Brea Moon, 21, occurred 11 days after Mason was released from juvenile detention, Fox News reported.
Mason was identified after authorities used facial recognition software to compare a photo given by a victim with images of Mason on social media, a court affidavit said, according to the Washington Post. Police added that Mason reportedly tried to sell a .40-caliber firearm on Instagram following one of the homicides.
Mason was charged as an adult with four counts of first-degree murder, four counts of assault with intent to kill, assault with intent to murder, and assault with a dangerous weapon, police said.
Police also charged Daquan Jones, 19, of Northeast D.C., with first-degree murder in reference to Moon’s killing.
MPD arrested two dangerous & violent individuals in reference to 4 homicides and 6 shootings that occurred in the District over the last few months. These individuals terrorized our communities and we thank all who assisted in their arrest.
— DC Police Department #StayHomeDC (@DCPoliceDept) June 22, 2020
“These individuals terrorized our communities and we thank all who assisted in their arrest,” D.C. police wrote on Twitter.
The investigation is ongoing.