Alexandria Murder Rate Trending Downward, Violent Crime Victim Speaks Out
Violent crime has been on the rise in Alexandria and across the country, but the murder rate in the city is trending downward for the year. Gun violence has affected one family twice in the past year. ABC 31 News’ Joel Massey spoke with the victim as well as with the Alexandria Police to talk crime statistics in Alexandria and possible solutions.
Alexandria Resident Kenya Slaughter said, “A young man an 18-year-old man walked into my babysitter’s home while there were 11 children there and shot the 16-year-old and fired multiple times.”
Violent crime has hit home for Slaughter twice in the past year. In April of 2021 her 5-year-old daughter was shot in the leg. The gunman was aiming for the 16-year-old babysitter who was watching her.
“One of the bullets went in and out through her shoulder. The other bullet grazed her cheek and lodged itself into the back of her neck. A couple of months after that she had to have surgery to have that bullet removed. Harmony’s bullet went into her left thigh, and it remains there to this day.”
She told me why she thinks 18-year-old Denzel Washington did it.
“He was upset that the 16-year-old didn’t want to talk to him anymore. They were friends, courting, and the young lady saw some red flags and she decided that she didn’t want to deal with him anymore and he was upset about that.”
Tragedy also struck the family a few months later.
“Just dealing with crime in Alexandria it’s just getting out of hand, so three months after Harmony’s incident June 1 her father Henry Doraty Junior was shot and killed at Bulow Lake by his half-brother.”
Thirty-nine-year-old Henry Dorty Dubea was arrested and convicted of the murder. Slaughter is dealing with the senseless violence as best she can.
“I’m constantly, constantly dealing with loss after loss. It’s always something and to lose someone to violence, an accident is one thing… The incident with Harmony’s dad sucks even worse because he knows about my daughter. And then double back and do this when we’re already shook up.”
Kenya says Harmony’s father was a good man.
“That boy worked at Procter and Gamble for eleven years. He was a deacon at the church. He was a good kid. There are people out here that just get upset and just decide that they’re going to end your life and play God and take matters into their own hands and just do what they want to do. And it sucks because we’re still here dealing with this. We’re still grieving.”
Looking back, she sees a change for the worse in Alexandria.
“It wasn’t this way when I was a child, and I know in Alexandria it wasn’t this way when these people grew up.”
“Last year there were a record 34 murders for the city. This year there are 15 to date so it’s trending downward. The mayor says each homicide is important to him.”
Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall said, “One murder is one too many as far as we are concerned. That is correct it’s been a reduction as compared with last year. We’re glad to see that trending as some other areas are trending in minor or lesser occurrences but that’s also due to the fact that we’ve had good closure rates as far as closing those cases because we’ve got good police officers. And the public is responding they’re really helping our police officers.”
Alexandria Police made arrests on 29 of the 34 murders. That’s a solvability rate of 86 percent above the national average of 67 percent. This year out of the 17 homicides, 2 of those which were vehicular, APD has made 10 arrests. Lieutenant Lane Windham says one of the biggest solutions for the problem has always been public input.
“We couldn’t do it without the public we’ll start working on a case, lots of times the public will call in with information that we couldn’t have gotten without them. We work for the public. We’re partnered with the public, and as long as they can help us we’ll continue to help them.”
While Kenya is glad that APD responded and arrested Washington in a timely manner she is upset that he was deemed unfit because of psychological reasons to stand trial for the shootings.
“The court system that allowed this young man to plead insanity he isn’t competent to stand trial? He was competent when he circled that block twice. And I don’t hate the boy I do feel like he should be incarcerated. I do think that he should be tried and found guilty and have a sentence where he is actually doing time.”
Kenya says her faith and her upbringing has helped her get through the aftermath of the shootings that have affected her life.
“The whole thing is a lot. It takes a lot of prayer and a lot of patience because my daughter has autism. That’s given me a lot of patience. I’m older now I’m 40 years old, and with age comes a little wisdom and I’m lucky enough to be raised by someone who taught me to be a good person.”
The Alexandria Police are working on a feature to their website which will show felony crimes in real time on a map of the city to allow the public to give input and to see all recent crimes in the area. Lane Windham says they hope to have it up and running within a month.