Carson Charged

U.S. Attorney's Office files indictment against suspect in 2012 IHOP shooting on seven counts

By John Riley
Published on February 6, 2013, 6:53pm | Comments

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia has filed an indictment against LaShawn Carson, the woman arrested following a two-week investigation into the shooting of a gay man inside a Columbia Heights IHOP restaurant in March of last year.

Carson, 27, of Washington, was charged earlier today with seven different counts: aggravated assault while knowingly armed, assault with a dangerous weapon, two counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, carrying a pistol without a license, unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Carson remains under home confinement at her mother's District residence as she awaits trial. She has been scheduled for a Feb. 20 arraignment regarding the seven charges filed against in D.C. Superior Court.

Carson was previously charged with one count of aggravated assault while armed, but rejected a plea deal during her last court appearance, in June. The case had since been stalled, despite the insistence of Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Dickie at the time that the government intended to pursue an indictment against Carson.

On Jan. 25, Carson's lawyer, Patrick J. Christmas II, filed a motion to dismiss the case for violating his client's right to a speedy trial. Four days later, Jan. 29, Judge Michael Ryan ordered the government to show cause why the case should not be dismissed, as the government had failed to prosecute the case in the ensuing months. With an indictment, the case against Carson can now move forward in the courts.

According to charging documents, Carson and two companions were at the IHOP in the early morning hours of March 11, 2012, when they allegedly began taunting a gay man and his companions using homophobic slurs. From there, a physical confrontation took place between the victim and one of Carson's companions.

According to witnesses, the victim and another man were being separated by an off-duty police officer when a gun was fired, after which Carson and her two companions fled the restaurant. The Metropolitan Police Department investigated the case for two weeks before arresting Carson on March 26.

The victim in the shooting, who sustained injuries to his abdomen, was transported to Washington MedStar Hospital, where he was treated and later released.