Joseph Chandler Admitted to Killing Shirley Tucker, Police Allege

Charging documents against Joseph Chandler say that Chandler spontaneously admitted to shooting and killing 63-year-old Shirley Tucker last week.

Chandler, 73, is currently hospitalized at MedStar Washington Hospital Center after having complained of chest pains. Chandler was arrested a few hours after the shooting Dec. 6, but he has yet to be presented before the judge.

According to documents, Chandler uttered that he had shot and killed Tucker and that he “deserved to die,” after MPD found him inside the Maryland Avenue apartment where Tucker was shot. Chandler was then transported to the Homicide Branch.

Tucker was taken to the hospital where she later died of her injuries.

After waiving his Fifth Amendment rights, Chandler further told detectives that he and Tucker were arguing earlier in the evening when Tucker called Chandler a “bitch.” Chandler then opened a bedroom drawer, retrieved a .22 caliber handgun and emptied the clip into Tucker’s body, the documents say.

An autopsy later revealed that Tucker suffered five gunshot wounds to the left arm pit, upper right back, left side and left arm. One bullet was also recovered from Tucker’s right chest cavity.

After obtaining a search warrant, detectives went back to the apartment where Tucker and Chandler had argued and found the gun. It lay in a dresser drawer with six expended cartridge casings in the cylinder, exactly where Chandler told police he put it.

Chandler faces a second-degree murder charge for Tucker’s death.

Chandler’s appointed defense attorney, William Roberts, appeared on Chandler’s behalf yesterday and told Judge Karen Howze that he’s had a hard time reaching Chandler. Howze said the delay did not violate Chandler’s right to a hearing within 48 hours because of the hospitalization. She also said that she did not understand why Chandler’s case was not called on Friday.

Howze issued an order to allow Roberts to enter the hospital and speak with Chandler.

Sam Pearson contributed to reporting.

Charging documents have been added to this post.

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