Through song, prayer and poetry, the Hall’s Hill community came together Tuesday night to mourn the loss of two of its own.
A candlelight vigil was held for double homicide victims Keefe Spriggs and Carl Moten at the Hall’s Hill/High View Park Memorial Garden. Dozens of people young and old — including friends, family and neighbors of the victims — attended the somber vigil, which was organized in part by the Calloway United Methodist Church (5000 Lee Highway). Speakers included pastors and community members.
On the morning of August 7, 59-year-old Spriggs and 31-year-old Moten were found murdered in an apartment on the 1900 block of N. Culpeper Street, in Hall’s Hill — the neighborhood in which they were both born and raised. So far, police have not released any additional information regarding the ongoing investigation into the homicides.
Spriggs, known as Kee-Kee to friends and family, was divorced and was working at a body shop. Moten, also known as Pooh Bear, was an acquaintance of Spriggs and had been working as a cook at a restaurant in Falls Church.
Calloway pastor Rev. Sonja Flye Oliver said Spriggs and Moten both came from families with “extremely deep roots in the Hall’s Hill community.”
“Both of these families are families of faith, families of character,” she said. “These people exemplify what it means to be a close knit community.”
Rev. Oliver said it has been more than a decade since a crime like this has happened in the area.
“This is just shocking, it’s a shocking thing to have happen,” she said. “I’ve heard over and over again: things like this just don’t happen in Hall’s Hill.”
“When one of us hurts, all of us hurt, because we’re all related,” she told the gathered crowd. “We’re related by blood or we’re related by the Spirit. I like the feeling of family that this community exhibits all the time. You feel the love and the presence of God here.”
The families of both men are “not strangers to loss,” Rev. Oliver said. Spriggs’ mother had previously lost a son to a motorcycle accident and another son to an illness, she said.
The funeral for Spriggs was held on Tuesday. Moten’s funeral will be held at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in the Arlington View neighborhood on Thursday.
Rev. Oliver said Arlington County Police have been responsive to the community during the investigation into the homicides.
“We have faith that they are working diligently and trying to piece everything together,” she said. “I think the community will rejoice when we have an answer. We would just like to know who and why.”
In the meantime, she said, the “outpouring of love from the community” has been helping the families of Spriggs and Moten cope with their loss.
Initially classified as “suspicious deaths” yesterday, police now say that they believe Arlington resident Keefe Spriggs, 59, and Carl Moten, 31, were murdered inside the apartment on the 1900 block of N. Culpeper Street.
No weapon was found inside the apartment, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Still, police are not saying whether a killer is on the loose. Instead, Sternbeck says the crime was an “isolated incident” and that local residents should not be worried about further violence.
Spriggs was a divorced father of two who worked in a body shop, WJLA’s Jennifer Donelan reported Wednesday evening. Moten, a cook at a restaurant in Falls Church, was an acquaintance of Spriggs and was staying at his apartment.
Both Spriggs and Moten had criminal records in Arlington, including DWI and eluding police for Spriggs, assault and probation violation for Moten, and possession of cocaine for both. Spriggs’ crimes dated back to 2003, however, and Sternbeck said so far there’s no indication of any other crime taking place inside the apartment other than the two killings.
After going more than two years without a homicide, these murders are the third and fourth homicide in Arlington so far this summer.
Photo courtesy WJLA/ABC 7
Update on 8/8/12 – ACPD has confirmed that they’re investigating the deaths as a double homicide.
(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) Police are investigating another possible homicide, this time in the Hall’s Hill/High View Park neighborhood.
A maintenance worker found two men dead in the living room of an apartment on the 1900 block of N. Culpeper Street, after a family member had called because they hadn’t seen the resident for awhile, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. A television was on in the apartment and blood could be seen, but no weapon was found, Sternbeck said.
Detectives are investigating the incident as a possible homicide or double homicide, though so far police are only officially saying the deaths are “suspicious.” The deceased men have been identified by police as Keefe Spriggs, 59, of Arlington, and Carl Moten, 31, of no fixed address.
The men are acquaintances and the apartment belongs to Spriggs, Sternbeck said. Asked whether a killer is still on the loose, Sternbeck was vague.
“We do believe it’s an isolated incident,” he said. “We are very early in this investigation. The detectives that are working the case will be processing the scene, interviewing all the neighbors [and] last known contacts of these individuals.”
Several people, including a woman believed to be Spriggs’ sister, have already been interviewed by detectives on the scene.
This could be the third homicide in Arlington in as many weeks. On July 24, a woman was killed in a murder-suicide near Fairlington. On July 27, a jewelry store owner was killed during an armed robbery on Columbia Pike. A 53-year-old D.C. man was charged with murder last week for the latter crime.
Prior to July, there had not been a homicide in Arlington since March 14, 2010.
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