The youth who police say drove the getaway vehicle in one of D.C.'s deadliest shootings in decades was a runaway from a youth home, the Washington Examiner has learned.

Malik Carter has been charged as a juvenile with murder. According to authorities he drove his older brother Orlando and two other men on a shooting rampage that left four dead and six others wounded.

Though only 14, Malik has an extensive criminal record, including six different court commitments to the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, the city's juvenile agency.

Mayor Adrian Fenty has said that Tuesday's bloodbath could have been prevented if prosecutors had granted a warrant for Orlando Carter's arrest in a previous homicide. "If we would have taken what the police department said as true," he was quoted as saying on WTOP's Web site. "We would've been able to bring somebody off the streets who at least had a very major role in one of our deadliest shootings ever."

Sources familiar with his background say that Malik had been arrested at least nine times for crimes ranging from possession of a stolen vehicle to armed robbery. Before Tuesday's rampage, he had fled a youth home, the sources said. Critics said Thursday that the Fenty administration has been lax on juvenile crime. "You can't keep waiting for these things to happen and then show outrage," said Kenneth Barnes, whose son was killed by an escaped child offender and who now advocates for juvenile justice reform. "Violent children get more violent they don't get less violent. They're going to be predators or become prey."

Neither Attorney General Peter Nickles nor Fenty spokeswoman Mafara Hobson responded to requests for comment. Youth Rehabilitation spokesman Reggie Sanders declined comment. Fenty, who as a councilman had oversight of Youth

Rehabilitation, is facing a re-election battle, in which crime and punishment policies could become campaign issues. Polls show him trailing Council Chairman Vincent Gray, among blacks in Washington.

The mayor, who was in Jamaica when the shooting occurred, was roundly booed and heckled as he tried to address a rally on South Capitol Street at the scene of the attacks. Authorities have charged Orlando Carter, 20, and Nathanial Simms, 26, with first-degree murder in the rampage. They're still looking for a fourth man who fled from the silver minivan used in the attacks.
Prosecutors believe that the shootings stemmed from yet another homicide.

On March 22, Jordan Howe was shot in the head after being falsely accused of stealing a golden bracelet. A third Carter brother, Sanquan, has been charged with that shooting.