Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser (D.) on Thursday said the carjacker who murdered a doctor in the city this week "probably didn't intend to kill anybody."
Bowser was referencing the murder of 33-year-old Rakesh Patel, an intensive care unit doctor at a D.C. hospital who was killed Tuesday night when a person stole his car and struck him with it. When Patel left his Mercedes unattended to give a package to his girlfriend, at least one person jumped in the car and drove off. When Patel ran into the street to try to save his car, the carjacker ran him over.
"There is no more important issue for us right now than dealing with people who are committing crimes in our city," Bowser told a reporter. "We saw one person, who probably didn't intend to kill anybody, but did, and devastated a family."
.@MayorBowser responds to Qs about Rakesh Patel, the 33yo @MedStarWHC doctor who was stuck & killed by his OWN car on Tuesday after someone had just stolen the car from him in Adam’s Morgan. @fox5dc pic.twitter.com/E64cZ9qySn
— Stephanie Ramirez (@RamirezReports) March 10, 2022
D.C. police did not apprehend the carjacker, who is as yet unidentified, but the department released a video of two persons of interest in the case.
Patel's murder comes as the number of carjackings and murders have skyrocketed across the country and in the D.C. area. Carjackings tripled in D.C. from the year before the pandemic to 2021.
In one particularly grisly case last year that drew national attention, a 66-year-old Uber driver was killed in D.C. during an armed carjacking carried out by two 13- and 15-year-old girls.
In January, a candidate for D.C. city council had his car stolen at gunpoint.
A poll conducted last month found 73 percent of D.C. voters believe Bowser has done a poor job of combating crime.