Two men arrested in fatal shooting of D.C. rapper Swipey


Diante Brewer, left, and Deshawn Watkins. (Prince George's County Police)

The shooting of a popular D.C. rapper known as Swipey occurred during an attempted robbery at a family party he was attending in August, according to details released Monday as Prince George’s County police announced arrests in the case.

Police arrested two District men over the weekend in the killing of Douglas Brooks, 18, known as Swipey, who was shot in the head in the parking lot of a Suitland apartment building Aug. 21.

One of those arrested, Diante Brewer, 19, of Southwest Washington, was linked to the scene by a GPS tracking device he was wearing under court order from a previous case, said Capt. Anthony Schartner, assistant commander of the criminal investigations division for county police. Details of the previous case were not immediately available.

Police said Brewer and Deshawn Watkins, 18, of Southeast Washington, were two of up to five would-be robbers who plotted to storm a party hosted by a relative of Brooks’s. The attackers did not make it inside or rob partygoers, according to police, who said that before the plan could be carried out, a confrontation occurred in a parking lot and shots were fired.

Watkins was linked to the case, according to police, after he was arrested in the fall in the District. Police found him in possession of a gun that was linked by ballistic evidence to the shooting in which Brooks died, said Schartner. The arrest in the District followed an alleged argument on Oct. 31 on a school bus between Watkins and a female student in which Watkins reportedly flashed a gun that police said they later recovered near his home.

According to charging documents in Prince George’s, Brooks was talking to someone in the lot when a light-colored SUV pulled up and four males got out and approached Brooks.

Shortly after, at least two guns were fired, the documents and police said. Brooks was found dead in the 3600 block of Parkway Terrace Drive in Suitland, police said.

The investigation continues, and police said they are seeking additional witnesses to help them identify other suspects.

According to charging documents, authorities tracked Brewer’s movements and said he arrived at the scene at 12:58 a.m. and fled a few minutes after 1 a.m. “at a high rate of speed.” Police said in charging documents that they also connected his cellphone to Watkins’s phone and that both phones were in the area during the time of the shooting.

Police arrested both men in the District on warrants for first-degree murder with the use of a handgun, police said. Watkins was arrested Friday and Brewer on Saturday. They were awaiting extradition to Maryland, officials said.

Swipey had amassed a dedicated fan base in the region and thousands of followers online.

In August, as police investigated the case, Brooks’s manager said the young rapper had already made inroads in the industry.

The manager, Kevin Baldwin, chief executive of the record label M.O.P3, said that at 18, Brooks had performed alongside big-name acts, including rappers Wale, a D.C. native, and Fat Joe. His videos have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube, and his Instagram following was upward of 40,000. One of his songs, “Money Money Money,” featured producer Jazze Pha, known for his work with Usher, Missy Elliott, Ciara and Lil Wayne.

“He only had been signed with me one year, and he accomplished all of that,” Baldwin said.

Brooks graduated from high school in the District and at one point planned to attend college at Morgan State University, Baldwin said, but ended up deciding to pursue a career as a rapper.

“Music, to Swipey, is everything,” Brooks had said of himself in a radio interview with WPGC-FM (95.5). “I’ve got a tattoo on me: Music is life.”

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