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DC educator mourning both victim and suspect in Northeast shooting

A Southeast DC educator describes how he's mourning both the victim and the suspect involved in Benning Rd. NE fatal shooting last week. It's like punch in the gut to the Eastern Senior High School faculty.

WASHINGTON -- A Southeast D.C. teacher says he struggled to find the right words. He was trying to respond to a very difficult situation on Instagram.

Eastern Senior High School educator, Darrell Holloman, had learned the 20-year-old shot and killed on Benning Road, Northeast last Monday was a beloved, former student named Randall Francis.

“Had a good relationship with him and we use to talk after class and even during lunch and things like that and he was a very fashionable – very popular, you know, student and um – you know – very charismatic. And so it was hard to hear when he had passed,” said Holloman.

RELATED: Suspect ID'd after 20-year-old shot and killed in NE DC

It was like a punch in the gut.

“I thought it must have been someone who was jealous of his popularity or something like that,” the teacher said.

Holloman, the victim’s family and friends -- they all say 20-year-old Randall Francis was doing what he loved. He was a rapper, an aspiring model and talented photographer.

Then, another blow.

“Malik was a student who used to hang out with me after school and talk, you know, about various things but he was always like a fun-loving kid,” said Holloman.

That same Malik, 20-year-old Malik Morris, is the suspect DC police say shot & killed Francis.

Holloman read some of an Instagram post he struggled to write.

“No one could’ve told me two years ago that I’d be making this post. I feel like we’ve lost two young men with great potential,” he said.

The Southeast educator says there were reports that the petty dispute between the two involved a young woman.

RELATED: Family remembers man killed after 'petty dispute'

He doesn’t know what went wrong here or over the years, but he does feel like as a community we’re failing.

“This should not be a solution for any problem that they have and maybe figure out a way where they have a different outlet different ways to communicate, you know, learning these skills rather than using a gun,” said Holloman.

Police say Malik Morris still hasn’t turned himself in.

Holloman would say this Morris if he could:

“I would hope that the positive person I know would come out and try to figure out how to change this very negative situation."