Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Starbucks Shooter

The Crime Scene

Starbuck's store crime scene
Starbuck's store crime scene

A team of officers arrived to protect and examine the scene. Taping the entrance, they kept customers out but started to draw a curious crowd. Officers found the bodies of not two but three uniformed employees on the floor in the back room, one of them lying partially over another. All had been shot and their blood had pooled onto the floor around them. A detective checked with the manager who had first found them and she said that when she had arrived the doors were locked. Yet there had been no forced entry, and the keys were still with Caitrin. Since closing time was 8:00 p.m. on Sundays, it seemed likely that the perpetrator had arrived before the doors were locked. The condition of the bodies indicated a time of death near to this.

Re-creation: Police Gather Evidence
Re-creation: Police Gather Evidence

A crime scene processing unit arrived to take photographs, lift fingerprints, look for other types of evidence, and map the scene. They picked up ten bullet casings, some from a .38 revolver and others from a .380 semiautomatic handgun, so they surmised that two shooters had been involved.

Detectives fanned out to canvass the neighborhood for witnesses and leads. They found someone who had tried the door between 9:00 and 9:30 p.m., and said they had been open. Since the doors were locked when the dayshift supervisor came in, it seemed possible that the killers were still there between 9:00 and 9:30. Yet the casings left behind indicated a hurried or careless exit.

Aaron David Goodrich
Aaron David Goodrich

The two other victims, both male, were Emory Allen Evans, 25, and Aaron David Goodrich, 18. Goodrich had only worked there a few months and had been a last-minute addition to the Sunday evening shift. Evans had been employed there less than a month.

Starbucks Safe
Starbucks Safe

The assumption was that the deaths had occurred in the course of a robbery. While Burleith was considered a safe residential neighborhood, there had been a spate of armed robberies in the area the year before. The manager helped detectives to examine the cash register and office safe, both of which were closed and undisturbed. Because of the holiday weekend, no one had taken a deposit to the bank in three days, so the safe contained over $10,000. Yet the robbers had taken nothing. Perhaps they had lost control of the scene and inadvertently shot someone, then killed the others to eliminate witnesses. Possibly, violence had not been part of the plan, so they'd fled in case someone had heard the shots.

Starbucks officials announced that security guards would be posted at other nearby stores for an indefinite period of time. The company's CEO flew into the district to assist, offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. This was a first for the successful chain, which had more than 1,200 locations, including 62 stores in the area. In fact, despite the district's reputation for crime, the incident even shocked city officials.

"To have a triple homicide anywhere in the District of Columbia," said district Council member Jack Ward, "is an unusual event. To have a triple homicide in Georgetown is extraordinary."

For everyone's sake, they hoped to make a swift arrest.

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