April 17, 2010

UPDATE: D.C. principal found dead in his Silver Spring home

Montgomery County police have determined that D.C. public schools Principal Brian Keith Betts was shot and killed inside his Silver Spring home, schools spokesman Sgt. C. Tom Jordan said. Police have ruled the death a homicide, saying it was not a random killing, but they do not yet have a suspect, Jordan said. They are also looking for his blue Nissan Xterra vehicle, which was missing from his home Thursday night when co-workers found his body. The sudden death has shocked the D.C. and Montgomery County school community. On Friday morning, the 300-plus students and staff at Shaw Garnet-Patterson Middle School in Washington, D.C., were reeling from the sudden death of their leader.

"I still can't even begin to realize that he's gone," said teary-eyed ninth-grader Dominique Watson as she clutched a copy of a photo of a smiling Betts in front of a library.

When 42-year-old Betts wasn't standing on his usual corner greeting students at V and 10th St N.W. in Washington, D.C., early Thursday morning, his staff at Shaw Garnet-Patterson Middle School began to worry. When the principal did not show up to the afternoon staff meeting or answer phone calls, the atmosphere in the school became tense.

"That kind of flew up the red flag," said Shaw's baseball and football coach, Jeffrey McCauley.

Betts' Silver Spring home has a bloody past. On Aug. 6, 2002, 47-year-old George Russell and of 9-year-old Erika Smith were found shot and killed in the same home. County police convicted Anthony Quintin Kelly in the murders in 2008. He is now serving life in prison. Detectives are asking anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the Nissan Xterra to call 301-279-8000 (the police non-emergency number). Anyone with other information pertaining to this death is asked to call Homicide detectives at 240-773-5070. Callers may remain anonymous. SOURCE: Gazette

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