Joseph Hardin killed in D.C. shooting; Cedric Spicer arrested
Updated: February 24, 2013 - 08:59 am
On a living room couch in their Woodbridge home, Pam and George Williams are trying to understand the loss of their son, Joseph Hardin.
"I have to go identify my baby's body," Pam Williams says. "The grief that I feel... to wake up this morning and to have a detective tell met hat my son was shot fatally..."
Just four years ago, the couple had to cope with the loss of another child.
Hardin's sister Jewell, 12, was walking home from school when she was struck by a truck. The death of a second child, the Williams' say, is very difficult to bear.
"There's a hollow heart and we're going to live without it for the rest of [our] lives," says George Williams.
Police say around 1:15 a.m. Saturday, officers responded to a shooting call outside the 1920 D.C. Nightclub, also known as Asefu's Restaurant.
Witnesses say they heard as many as ten gunshots.
"I heard the shots. I live in a house just one block away," says Jeffrey Willis. "Chilling. Yeah, wake up in the night and hear this."
"We just stepped out and we see a guy laying in the middle of the street, right by my car," says Michael Gedamu. "Within a minute the police came."
Witnesses tell police that Hardin, 30, and another bar patron, 24-year-old Cedric Spicer, argued in the bar and were ordered to leave.
The Williams' believe the fight started when some of Hardin's friends got into an argument with some other patrons.
"Joe did not start the fight," says his father. "It was with Joseph's girlfriend."
"There was no physical confrontation," says Jeremy Cole, who works at the bar. "They left voluntarily."
Cole says he believes the gunfire began 10 to 15 minutes after the two men had already left the club.
"it's sad. It's tragic, actually. It's very eye-opening and I feel bad for everybody involved," says Cole.
Hardin, who was shot several times, died on 9th Street in front of the club.
A police report says an arriving officer spotted Spicer running toward him wearing a mask. The narrative says the officer grabbed Spicer after he dropped a handgun on the ground.
Authorities say witnesses later identified Spicer as the shooter.
Earlier Saturday, Michael Gedamu was counting bullet holes. At least four rounds slammed into his pickup, a nearby car window was shattered, and another bullet hole marked a nearby doorway.
"It is crazy and you're wondering what is going on every second," says Gedamu. "It's very scary. You have to watch your back when you walk."
"It comes back to gun, gun, gun. It's just too easy to get a gun," George Williams says.
Late Saturday, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier issued an emergency 96-hour closure order for the club.
Spicer is now in police custody and charged with first-degree murder.
Pam Williams is trying to figure out how to explain her son's death to her grandchildren.
"One of my biggest hurdles is to figure how to tell my four-year-old grandchild his father is gone," she says.
Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.