Two men who died in August in a Columbia Heights apartment suffered from a toxic combination of a drug used to treat seizures and another sedative, in what authorities said Wednesday was a homicide-suicide.
Police believe Shimelis Yegazu, 38, of Aurora, Colo., killed Mesfin Nega, 35, of Northwest D.C., with gabapentin, an anti-convulsant, and pentobarbital, a barbiturate, before taking his own life, MPD Spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said. (Note: An obituary for Nega lists his age as 37.)
Nega was pronounced dead on the scene by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Yegaza was taken to an area hospital where he died on Aug. 19.
The press release from MPD is after the jump. Also note that the release spells Yegazu’s name Yegaza.
October 24, 2012
Homicide and Suicide: 3600 Block of 13th Street, NW
(Washington, DC)-Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch announced that the deaths of two individuals, who were located inside a residence in the 3600 block of 13th Street, NW, have been ruled a homicide and a suicide.
On Tuesday, August 14, 2012, members of the DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the 3600 block of 13th Street, NW and discovered two unresponsive adult males inside the location.
The first victim, identified as 35-year-old Mesfin Nega of Northwest, DC, did not show any signs of life and was pronounced dead by a member of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The second victim, identified as 38-year-old Shimelis Yegaza of Aurora, Colorado, was transported to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead on August 19, 2012.
The investigations into both deaths were conducted by members of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the cause of death for both males to be acute phenobarbital intoxication. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled that Mesfin Nega’s death was a homicide and Shimelis Yegaza’s death was ruled a suicide.
The post has been updated with more information regarding the cause of death from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.