November 28, 2023

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Suspect in Metro Shooting Held Without Bond

Isaiah Trotman had just shot a man and forced him onto the mezzanine level of the Potomac Avenue Metro station at gunpoint. Then he had turned his attention to a woman on the platform. “I’ll shoot you,” Trotman told her. “I am God.” 

The woman told detectives that Trotman, 31, pointed his gun at her feet, and said, “Don’t fucking bat your pretty eyelashes at me.” Another witness said Trotman was yelling, “I’m a killer.”

It was just after 9:20 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1. And while Trotman’s attention was focused on the woman, Robert Cunningham decided to act.

The woman told police that as Trotman pointed his gun at her, someone came up from behind and “tackled him.” Then she heard a gunshot and saw a man lying on the ground.

Security cameras show Cunningham, 64 and wearing a safety vest, grab Trotman from behind “in an apparent choke hold.” Trotman then reached up and pointed the gun toward Cunningham’s head, and he immediately fell to the ground. Trotman stomped on Cunningham’s motionless body at least three times, security cameras show. Cunningham was a mechanic and had worked for Metro for 20 years.

These new details of the horrific shooting spree at the Metro station come from an arrest affidavit filed in D.C. Superior Court Tuesday ahead of Trotman’s initial appearance. In court, Trotman’s public defender, Joseph Yarbough, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jackson argued over whether Trotman’s actions amounted to kidnapping, which is related to his charge of felony murder. Yarbough noted that Trotman had graduated from Auburn University and served in the military. Jackson said Trotman was awaiting sentencing for a drug distribution charge in Pennsylvania. Judge Lloyd Nolan ordered Trotman held without bond. He’s charged with first-degree murder while armed.

In all, Trotman is accused of shooting three people that day. Before the shooting on the Metro platform, Trotman targeted a man on the M6 Metrobus as it arrived at the Potomac Avenue station. 

“Look me in the face. I’m a prophet, you going to die with me today,” Trotman told the bus rider. “The last dude I shot earlier this morning was sitting in the same seat you was in.” (Police say they found no evidence of a prior shooting.)

Trotman ordered the man off the bus and asked, “You ready? You ready?” The man ran off the bus, and Trotman shot him in the leg before descending into the station, the arrest affidavit says.

After he shot Cunningham, Trotman boarded a Silver Line train full of people, still holding the gun. He warned them not to leave and not to run. A witness said Trotman paced up and down the train car and said “Harriet Tubman was in the CIA” and “I am a veteran.” He eventually sat down and placed the gun on the seat next to him, resting his hand on top of it.

As the doors opened again, Shante Trumpet, identified as “Victim 4” in the police affidavit, grabbed the gun and ran. Trumpet, a D.C. government employee, described to reporters last week how she dropped the weapon as Trotman pulled her to the ground. She slid it away from him across the floor as other passengers came to her aid. After a brief struggle, she broke free of Trotman’s grasp. Then she tossed the gun over a train on the opposite side of the platform. 

The arrest affidavit says D.C. police received a request for a welfare check on Trotman on Jan. 19. The person reported that Trotman has a “behavioral health disorder” and was supposed to attend a treatment program three times a week, but had recently missed some appointments. Officers received no response at his listed address, a house on 41st Place SE.

Trotman is scheduled to appear in court again on Feb. 16.

Mitch Ryals (tips? [email protected])

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
  • A new report says the pandemic contributed to the worsening disparity in HIV/AIDS infections between Black and White patients in D.C. [Post, DCist]
  • D.C. and New York’s markets for software developers are outpacing San Francisco and Silicon Valley as many West Coast tech companies cut jobs last year. [WBJ]

By City Paper staff (tips? [email protected])

  • The D.C. Council approved shifting $850,000 in funding over to pay for the design of suicide barriers on the Taft Bridge over Rock Creek, following a pair of deaths there over the past year. [Post]
  • Lawmakers also voted Tuesday to advance legislation extending an existing requirement for daily room cleanings in most hotels, a key demand of local hospitality unions. Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto was the lone vote against the measure, siding with hotel executives who have described the requirement as “onerous and unnecessary.” [WBJ]
  • A jury convicted Ward 8 ANC Kendall Simmons of three felonies and three misdemeanors after he crashed his motorcycle into a woman’s car and fled the scene back in 2019. He’ll likely be booted from office if the conviction stands. [WJLA]

By Alex Koma (tips? [email protected])

  • Spicy Water, an African restaurant that’s operated in Eastern Market since 2018, is now open on 11th Street NW, serving a variety of sandwiches and salads. [DCist]
  • Fuck around with the Burger King in Van Ness, and find out. [Twitter]
  • The Bazaar, José Andrés’ whimsical restaurant featuring his unique twists on Spanish and American dishes, opens today in the Waldorf Astoria (formerly the Trump International) Hotel. [Washingtonian]
  • Underground Food Court is closing in Dupont Circle less than a year after it opened, but the IP for all the concepts is for sale. Our carry-out critic praised the biscuits from Sincerely Breakfast this fall. [Eater]

By City Paper staff (tips? [email protected])

If a global pandemic has given us any lasting skills, it’s how to show you’re smiling in a mask and how to elevate a night at home. In-person dining has returned, but there is still something to be said for creating a special night in. Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year, so if work, life’s many other obligations, or just the early-week fatigue is keeping you at home, make it an at-home celebration. 

Plenty of D.C. restaurants are offering their Valentine’s Day menus to go. Gravitas offers pickup and delivery for their tasting menu featuring pastries from chef Aisha Momaney.

For a more economically forgiving option, check out La Dinette for a culinary experience approved by City Paper contributor Nevin Martell. The local meal delivery service was founded last year by Chloé Revuz. She puts together ready-made, three-course meals inspired by her Swiss upbringing and love of French cuisine. The meals are delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays and are available both as a subscription or as one-offs. 

Let’s not discount the pinnacle of at-home dates: Chinese takeout and a movie. City Paper’s Carry-Out Critic Crystal Fernanders has raved about Chef Tim Ma’s Lucky Danger. Pair it with your preferred cringeworthy rom-com, a precious love story, or a fairy tale for adults. Or, if you’re really anti-romance, the Blair Witch Project-esque horror film Skinamarink is available on some streaming platforms.

By City Paper staff (tips? [email protected])

Credit: Cameron Whitman Photography
  • At just 13 years old, local actor Phoenix Averiyire is already taking over Hollywood—and Broadway. [DCist]
  • Apparently spring is alive with the sound of classical music. [Post
  • The traveling Museum for Black Girls, currently at Union Market, celebrates Black women’s stories, experiences, and “Black Girl Magic.” [WTOP]
  • Supposed book lovers have some serious bones to pick with, well, books. Readers told the Post’s Book Club newsletter they’re over italics, dream sequences, sex scenes, and lengthy novels, among many other gripes. Oh my. [Post]

By Sarah Marloff (tips? [email protected])

  • The National Park Service is threatening to evict the queer bocce ball tournament that’s taken place in Logan Circle for the past decade. [Metro Weekly]
  • Jeff Bezos is looking to get a piece of the sports gambling market. Amazon is adding SportsGrid, a sports gambling network, to Prime Video. [Post]
  • Former DC United goalkeeper and Annandale native Bill Hamid is considering his future. If he doesn’t sign a new deal with an MLS team, he says he’ll join DCU fans at Audi Field when the next season opens. [Post]

By City Paper staff (tips? [email protected])

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