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Man fatally shot in possible robbery in D.C.’s Takoma neighborhood

A 28-year-old man whose father works at the Turkish Embassy was fatally shot Sunday night in a possible robbery attempt in Northwest Washington’s Takoma neighborhood, according to D.C. police.

Kaan Demir had dropped his girlfriend off at her residence on a street off Georgia Avenue and was shot as he returned to his parked vehicle, said his brother, Eren Demir.

Police said they responded to reports of gunshots and found the victim about 11:35 p.m., dead on a sidewalk in the 800 block of Underwood Street NW, near the Takoma Aquatic Center. Police said Demir’s vehicle was found at the scene and that detectives are looking for two men wearing masks who drove off in a dark-colored Toyota.

Demir’s brother said their father is a driver for the Turkish ambassador to the United States and that his brother, who lived with family in Springfield, Va., worked in the information technology field.

In a brief interview, Eren Demir said his brother was born in Turkey and came to the United States as a young child. He said the family is “doing a good as they can.” Efforts to reach their father were not successful.

A representative from the Embassy of Turkey did not respond to a request for comment.

Police statistics show the 78 homicides in D.C. this year are down 24 percent compared to this time in 2023, which ended as the deadliest year in more than a quarter century.

Sunday’s shooting occurred in Ward 4, which includes diverse neighborhoods east of Rock Creek Park in Upper Northwest and Northeast. D.C. Council member Janeese Lewis George (D-Ward 4) said neighborhoods with the most crime challenges in her ward include Petworth and Brightwood Park, but not Takoma.

George said Takoma residents are concerned because that area “doesn’t have issues. We don’t have shootings in that area at all. There are no crew or gang affiliations. … Takoma is just a place were we don’t see gun crimes.” D.C. police statistics for this year show no shootings in Takoma before Sunday this year, and two robberies on the neighborhood’s periphery.

The council member said the police commander for the Fourth District that includes Takoma told her authorities were investigating whether a dark-colored vehicle seen driven away from the shooting scene is connected to a series of robberies that occurred over the weekend in and near the central part of the District.

Tom Lynch, a D.C. police spokesman, said detectives believe the “motivation for the homicide might have been robbery.” He also confirmed there had been a series of robberies in the city over the weekend and that authorities “are investigating a possible connection” to the shooting of Demir.

Eren Demir said his brother had walked his girlfriend to her front door and had returned to his car when a vehicle pulled up and he was attacked. He said he based this account on discussion with police and his brother’s girlfriend. He said nothing appears to have been taken from his brother or his vehicle.

Police said their investigation is in the preliminary stages and that their theory could change as more evidence is found.

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