Former Trump official dies after attempted car-jacking in Washington

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A former Trump and Obama administration official died on Saturday, days after being the victim of an alleged violent car-jacking attempt in Washington DC.

Mike Gill’s death was confirmed by his wife Christina Gill in a statement Washington Post.

“It is with great sadness that I want to inform the community of the passing of my husband, Mike Gill,” the statement said.

“His sudden demise has left a void in our lives that can never be filled. At this time of grief, we are grateful for the outpouring of love and support we have received from family, friends and the community, and express our heartfelt gratitude to all who have reached out to offer condolences and support. “Thank you for respecting our privacy as we mourn the loss of an incredible person.”

Mr Gill, 56, was shot near Mount Vernon Square about 5.45pm on Monday. Police have not said whether he was targeted for his vehicle, although reports indicate he was parked outside a law office in his car at the time of the attack.

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The suspect allegedly carried out another car-jacking in the NoMa neighborhood of Northeast DC about an hour later, police said. The victim of that attack, 35-year-old Alberto Vasquez Jr., died at the scene.

According to the police, the violence continued from Monday evening till Tuesday morning. The suspect is accused of shooting at officers twice, once during a traffic stop and again during an attack on a parked vehicle. No officer was injured.

Maryland’s Attorney General released a statement identifying the suspect as 28-year-old Artell Cunningham. He was shot and killed after a shootout with police in New Carrollton, Maryland, around 4:30 a.m.

Mr. Gill was the Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) from October 2016 to November 2019.

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He began working as senior vice president of the Housing Policy Council, a trade association.

On Sunday, former President Donald Trump addressed Mr. Gill’s death in a post on Truth Social.

“The wonderful and brilliant Mike Gill, a highly respected member of the Trump administration, was brutally and viciously shot in the head during a carjacking in Washington, DC. He was a special person – his family and friends are devastated. The federal government should take over DC, God bless Michael and his family!” Mr Trump wrote.

His statement pointed to an increase in violent crimes and car-jackings in the District of Columbia last year. Murders across the district reached a 20-year high in 2023, and the total number of carjackings doubled in 2022.

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Last month, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced more resources, including additional prosecutors, to help DC fight the crime surge.

The DC Board of Elections, on which he served three terms as a board member, was also released a memorable statement Mr Gill was described as “a wonderful husband, father and friend to all”. Appointments to the agency are made by Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington, DC.

“Mike was a true friend to everyone and a compassionate colleague,” the agency’s statement said. “We count our blessings to have known Mike for so many years. His good spirit and positivity will remain a part of our office culture and we will always be grateful for such a great person.”

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