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Ky. teacher killed during possible robbery at Catholic University, records say

Court records reveal new details about the killing of Maxwell Emerson, outlining a surveillance video of the attack

Maxwell Emerson, 25, a social studies teacher and assistant wrestling coach at Oldham County High School in Kentucky, was fatally shot last week on the campus of Catholic University. (Family photo)
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The Kentucky social studies teacher who was fatally shot last week on Catholic University’s campus appeared to try to fight off his assailant during a possible robbery, according to D.C. Superior Court filings Wednesday, which described security footage that captured the altercation and shooting.

Jaime Macedo, 22, whose name is also spelled Jaime Maceo in court records, was charged with first-degree felony murder while armed in the July 5 fatal shooting of 25-year-old Maxwell Emerson. He made his first appearance in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday, as authorities released a detailed, 26-page arrest warrant that outlined a minute-by-minute breakdown of the deadly encounter.

Emerson, who lived in Crestwood, Ky., was visiting Washington to participate in the Library of Congress’s Teacher Institute, a professional development seminar for educators, according to court records. Emerson, his brother and a third person were all staying in one of Trinity Washington University’s student dormitories, located near Catholic. While previous court records had Macedo residing in Northwest, police found him Tuesday boarding in a Northeast home.

According to the documents that describe footage from various surveillance cameras, the two men seem to first encounter each other around 7:30 a.m. outside the Brookland-CUA Metro station, when Macedo approaches Emerson and asks him something.

Emerson appears to take out his wallet and hand Macedo “something, possibly money,” and begins to walk away, the documents said.

Macedo then appears to ask another person for something, according to the records, and hands something back to Emerson. The two seem to converse and walk toward the 3600 block of John McCormack Road NE.

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By 7:51 a.m., they reach a park area located on Catholic University’s campus, where Emerson can be seen “with his hands raised facing” Macedo in a “don’t shoot manner,” police alleged in court papers.

A minute later, the two men walk to a bench, and Emerson sits down and removes his book bag. Macedo is seen standing over him. Macedo then bends over and picks up Emerson’s book bag, and tries to “snatch” something from Emerson, police alleged.

At that point, according to the documents, Emerson sends a Snapchat message to a family member back in the dorm room that says, “Help. Bring ribbed. At cub point,” the documents allege. The family member told detectives they believed Emerson intended to signal he was being robbed at gunpoint.

The documents say Emerson can then be seen tackling Macedo to the ground, and the two men begin wrestling. At 7:58 a.m., police allege, “the struggle ends” with Emerson falling face down on the ground. Macedo gets up off the ground, jumps over some bushes and runs toward Michigan Avenue.

Police arrest man in killing of Ky. teacher on Catholic University campus

At least two witnesses identified the shooter as a man with long, black hair. Police initially took two other men into custody based on those descriptions, but later determined they were not involved. Court records said they connected Macedo to the killing through a DNA match from a black ski mask found at the scene.

In court Wednesday, Macedo had shorter hair than the man captured on surveillance footage. His attorney, Anthony Matthews of the District’s Public Defender Service, argued there was not sufficient evidence to connect his client to the shooting, nor to back up prosecutors’ theory that it came during a robbery.

Emerson’s wallet was found on the park bench, near his body. His book bag, a purple iPhone and a pair of broken eyeglasses were found in front of it.

“These photographs do not look like someone being robbed in broad daylight. It looks like two people walking around having a conversation,” Matthews said.

Magistrate Judge Judith Pipe, though, ordered Macedo held until his next hearing on July 20, calling the evidence to support the police case “overwhelming.”

Macedo has two previous arrests involving guns in the District. In May 2022, he was arrested for unlawful gun possession after what court documents describe as a gun battle between him and a neighbor in the 900 block of Hamilton Street NW. The neighbor, who documents said shot at Macedo first and struck him in the arm, was convicted of assault in the case; prosecutors dropped the unlawful gun possession charge against Macedo this month.

In 2019, Macedo was charged with having an illegal firearm after police found a .40-caliber Glock loaded with 15 hollow-point bullets tucked under a sweater during a traffic stop.

Court records show Macedo pleaded guilty to carrying an unlicensed gun and was sentenced to probation, with a one-year prison term suspended. Those records show he violated the terms of his release and in 2020 was resentenced to six months in jail.

Authorities said that after his release, he continued to violate his conditions for remaining out, alleging that he failed to report to the probation office and attend drug rehabilitation. In January, probation officials recommended that his probation be revoked. Judge Peter Krauthamer allowed him to remain free but ordered him to attend his meetings. In May, court records show Macedo completed a drug counseling program, and a probation revocation hearing was scheduled for July 18.