Sixteen-year-old Javon Gaskins was the District of Columbia's first homicide victim of 2004.

About 5:30 a.m., on New Year's Day, Javon and two other youths went to the Stone Ridge Apartments at 354 Anacostia Road SE to visit a friend.

The trio was sitting in the parked station wagon, with Javon in the back seat, when two or more assailants opened fire on the car.

Javon, known to friends as J-Rock, was struck once in the head. The station wagon sped away, one of its occupants calling for police to meet them on the 3400 block of Minnesota Avenue Southeast.

The two people in the car with Javon were not injured and told detectives that they did not know their assailants. Police later said there was no indication that gang violence was a factor.

Javon's family told reporters that he was in ROTC at Wilson High School and wanted to go into the military.

"He was always an upbeat kid," his cousin and guardian La Shawn Green told the Washington Post. "He was always happy and had the best sense of humor a child could have. He was always smiling and joking."

Javon was the first of 198 D.C. homicides in 2004. His death remains unsolved, just one of thousands of cold-case killings in the Washington area.

D.C. police are offering a reward of $25,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in Javon's death.

Anyone with information can call police at 202-727-9099.

Readers who would like to have a cold-case homicide -- a killing that remains unsolved after three years -- featured on The Washington Examiner's Crime & Punishment page can email Scott McCabe at or call 202-459-4950.