2007-07-13 / Community

Rockaway Native Killed In Washington Shooting

Argument At 'Steak And Egg' Led To Murder
By Howard Schwach

By Howard Schwach

Michael Richardson, in a graduation photo supplied by his family to The Wave.Michael Richardson, in a graduation photo supplied by his family to The Wave. A Rockaway native who was living and working in Washington, D.C. was killed in the early morning hours of June 29 when, police say, he had an argument with another customer at the Steak And Egg restaurant and was shot once in the chest.

A Washington Metropolitan Police spokesperson told The Wave that Michael Richardson, 30, of Northwest D.C., was killed after an argument with another man led to gunfire in the restaurant, located at 1939 Ninth Street, N.W. at about 2:30 a.m. on June 29.

Richardson, who was in Washington working as an intern for the city's public defender's office, reportedly stumbled out into the street in front of the restaurant and died.

Jennifer Phanton, Richardson's aunt, told The Wave that he first went to Washington about eight years ago to attend Howard University, where he earned a degree in international business. He was pursuing another degree at Georgetown University and hoped one day to go to law school in that city.

Richardson was born at the St. John's Episcopal Hospital and attended St. Joachim Catholic School and John Adams High School before moving to the capital city for college.

His aunt said that Richardson was "very mischievous" when he was younger and often got himself into trouble, but that he had turned himself around.

"He was a very positive person," she said. "He was a big guy with a big heart and he had a generous and loving spirit." After the shooting, Jim Graham, the local councilmember, called for the restaurant to be closed. He said in published reports in the Washington Times that there had been at least two shootings at the restaurant since May, and several other violent incidents in preceding months.

This week, Joe Vamboi, the owner of the four-year-old restaurant told The Washington Post that he had closed his establishment and hoped to reopen it in another, safer, neighborhood. A police spokesperson told The Wave that they had no suspects in the shooting, but that detectives from the Violent Crimes Branch were investigating.

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