Cause of death released in DC9 case

Photo courtesy of
‘St Elisabeth’s Hospital – Surgical reports’
courtesy of ‘spiggycat’

This afternoon the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner released the cause of death of Ali Mohammed. Mohammed died outside of the DC9 nightclub on October 15 after an altercation. The report classifies the death as a homicide, and lists the cause of death as “Excited Delirium Associated With Arrhythmogenic Cardiac Anomalies, Alcohol Intoxication and Physical Exertion With Restraint.”

A quick bit of research indicates that “excited delirium” is a medical condition often associated with drug use that causes aggressive behavior and violence, as well as unexpected physical strength and hyperthermia. Excited delirium often leads to death by hyperthermia, with body temperatures reaching 105 degrees. While excited delirium is associated with drug use, there has been no information released regarding any toxicology reports, other than the “alcohol intoxication” listed in the cause of death.

The Mohammed family released a statement earlier this afternoon, noting that the death was ruled a homicide and stated “[t]his report also reminds us that Ali suffered a cruel and senseless death.”

The homicide ruling does not immediately imply that murder charges will be filed in the case. From the Medical Examiner report, it’s difficult to determine who, if anyone, could face charges. The murder charges initially filed against DC9 employees were since dropped.

It appears as though Mohammed’s death might not have occurred had the altercation at DC9 been avoided, but there has been no indication that the death was the result of a beating, as initially stated by Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

Dave has been following DC news and politics for nearly eight years and previous authored the blog “Why I Hate DC.” Dave tries to give a voice to those frustrated by the “politics as usual” in the area. By day he works in the technology department of a non-profit, by night he writes about news and politics and works at a local hardware store. Dave is also a contributor for Greater Greater Washington. You can follow him on Twitter or read his personal blog.

6 thoughts on “Cause of death released in DC9 case

  1. A small point of clarification: While “homicide” does mean that the death had the act of another person as a contributing factor, it does not necessarily imply that the act of the other person was criminal.

    So if no charges are filed, it could be because there was no criminal act to charge anyone with. It could be that when a person with cardiac issues, who was already intoxicated and worked up into “excited delirium,” was restrained and struggled against being restrained, it was fatal to him in a way that it might not have been under other circumstances. So the legal question would come down to whether the circumstances of the restraint were themselves criminal.

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  3. Oh my lord! All the people on DCIST, City Paper, etc. who are acting like they are unbiased and trying to sway people’s opinions against the homicide ruling is DISGUSTING! This guy died, it was ruled a homicide, and now all these friends of DC9 are spewing out all these silly arguments.

    ITS MURDER! HOMICIDE! Don’t forget it.

  4. time to let it go . . .

    The term Homicide makes it clear that others were involved in some way, i.e. through restraint. That may be the DC9 folks, that may be the police. We’ll never know. But there is probably more than enough evidence either way to hang a jury, so it’s probably time to let this go.

  5. “excited delirium” is a very convenient but medically unrecognized diagnosis that’s usually used to explain deaths at the hands of cops. The DC9 folks either have very good connections or the cops are somehow involved. What’s sad is seeing how public opinion is easily swayed when the victim is let’s say “unlike us”.