The Del Ray neighborhood was rocked by violence last weekend when a teenager was gunned down in a parking lot in the 100 block of East Mason Avenue. Ronnie Lamont Lee, 18, died in the early morning of Sept. 24.
Lee, known to family and friends as "Boo Boo," was a native of Alexandria. After he finished his sophomore year at T.C. Williams, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he attended Dunbar High School. He was just beginning his senior year.
At a candlelight vigil Monday, friends remembered Lee's quiet determination, his love of sports and his musical talents. They mourned his passing and shared a few laughs as they remembered Lee's quirky sense of humor and the way he would always cock his head to the side when someone snapped a photograph.
"One thing that I thought was funny was that when we would go out to eat, he would always order the same thing — a steak and cheese sandwich with French fries," said Randi Anthony, a senior at T.C. Williams. "He was really one of a kind."
Rita Henderson, the mother of one of his friends, remembered Lee's love of music and his talent for writing memorable raps.
"If music would come on, I'd get up and dance with him," she said, adding that he had recently recorded a demo CD to distribute to producers. "He rapped about everyday life, school — just life in general."
Lee worked at the Pentagon City Harris Teeter and hoped to get a college scholarship playing football. Although he enjoyed living in the District, he would often spend time in Alexandria, where he had many family and friends. He was with two friends in a parked car on Friday night when police say he was approached by a man with a gun who demanded money. A struggle ensued, and Lee was shot in the upper body. Officers responded at 12:23 a.m., and Lee was taken to Inova Alexandria Hospital. He was pronounced dead a short time later.
COURT RECORDS SHOW that an Alexandria magistrate issued an arrest warrant for first-degree murder for Javon Burrows-Garvin, 23, at 12:46 p.m. on Saturday. He was arrested a short time later and is now being held without bond.
Residents of East Mason Street say that police spent Friday night and Saturday morning searching their backyards for the murder weapon. Police believe that Burrows-Garvin did not know Lee.
"This appears to be a crime of opportunity with tragic consequences," said Amy Bertsch, public information officer with the Alexandria Police Department. "We believe the suspect was trying to get money from the victim."
Residents of East Mason Avenue were shocked by the murder, the second homicide to take place in the city this year.
"Of course we're concerned about it," said Pam Matthews, who lives in the 200 block of East Mason. "Many is the night when I've been walking through this neighborhood by myself and not thought twice about it."