WASHINGTON — District of Columbia police have arrested the man suspected of fatally stabbing a former intern for Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes on a Metro train Saturday.
Officers arrested Jasper Spires Monday and charged him with first-degree murder in the deadly attack.
Kevin Sutherland, 24, an American University grad from Connecticut, was riding the Red Line when he was stabbed to death on Independence Day. Sutherland’s friends told police the attack appeared to be random , taking place on a crowded train.
According to court records, police arrested Spires in an unrelated case Thursday in Northwest, Washington. Spires allegedly walked up to a man and asked him, “What do you have in your pockets?” before grabbing him by the throat and slamming him against a wall. Spires was arrested minutes later and initially charged with a felony.
That charge was downgraded to a misdemeanor and Spires was released from police custody Friday, according to court records. “We’re pretty distraught that he was released for a similar if not less deadly crime two days earlier,” Joe Sutherland, Kevin’s uncle, told the Post.
Sutherland is originally from Connecticut, and worked as an intern for Himes as an intern after moving to D.C.
“Am absolutely hear broken by the tragic loss of intern, staffer & wonderful friend, Kevin Sutherland,” Himes tweeted Sunday. “I’ve known few as selfless & decent.”
Along with politics, Sutherland loved photography, videography and technology, and ran a website where he showcased his work. He also wrote extensive pieces about the latest news or just his daily musings.
American University released the following statement:
“We are heartbroken to learn that the American University and the AUSG community has lost an individual who is emblematic of who we all are, and who we hope to be.
Kevin Sutherland was truly the best of us. He was incredibly kind. He was utterly and completely devoted to his friends. He used his intelligence and his talents to be a champion for what he believed in.
We are all better for knowing Kevin.
Our hearts are with Kevin’s family and friends during this time of immeasurable loss and grief.”