Bacilio Villatoro Death and Obituary, Landscaper Fatally Shot on a Job in Northeast Washington

A landscaper working along a residential street in Northeast Washington was fatally shot in the back Thursday afternoon after he confronted a man he saw trying to break into a truck, according to D.C. police.

The victim, identified as Bacilio Villatoro, 57, lived in Silver Spring, Md., with one of his two adult sons, and had a wife and grown daughter in El Salvador, according to his brother-in-law.

Police said Villatoro was shot about 12:40 p.m. in the 3000 block of Adams Street NE, in a neighborhood that has a mix of industrial buildings and private homes and is lined by New York and South Dakota avenues.

Dustin Sternbeck, a D.C. police spokesman, said that Villatoro saw a man tampering with a truck and began to argue with him. Sternbeck said the man pulled out a gun and Villatoro turned and began to run.

Sternbeck said Villatoro “tried to flee and was shot in the back.”

Villatoro died at the scene and police said the gunman drove off in a black Chevrolet Impala.

No arrests were made as of Friday. Police said it appears no property was taken. It was not immediately clear if the truck belonged to the landscaping company or another worker.

“He was a quiet person,” said the brother-in-law, 53-year-old Jose Villatoro, who shares a common last name with his in-law but is not blood-related.

“If somebody aggravated him, he just left them alone. That’s the kind of person he was. Why did this happen to him?”

Villatoro was the District’s 151st homicide victim this year, a 2 percent drop from this time in 2021. His killing also broke a 10-day respite from deadly crime: Before Thursday, there had not been a homicide in D.C. since September 11

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