First Reported Homicide of 2024 in Washington D.C. Results in Arrest of Suspect

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The first reported homicide of 2024 in Washington, D.C. occurred at a hotel in Friendship Heights, resulting in the tragic death of an 18-year-old woman. The victim, Ashlei Hinds, was a freshman at Louisiana State University and had been home on holiday break when the shooting took place.

Hinds’ mother described her as a loving and kind-hearted young woman, who had never been in trouble in her life. She was a well-respected student at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School, further heightening the tragedy of her loss.

The suspect, 18-year-old Jelani Cousin, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder while armed. The shooting reportedly occurred at a party in a hotel room where uninvited guests had crashed the event.

A heart-wrenching detail emerged when Hinds’ grandmother revealed that she had recently asked her grandfather, a pastor, for her own Bible, which arrived a day before she was killed.

The incident comes at a time when Washington, D.C. has been grappling with a significant increase in homicides, with the highest number reported in more than two decades.

As the investigation continues, anyone with potentially relevant information is urged to come forward and contact the police. The tragic loss of Ashlei Hinds underscores the ongoing need for community efforts to address the rise in violent crimes in the area.