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key witness in a federal probe into passport information stolen from the State Department was fatally shot in front of a District church, the Metropolitan Police Department said yesterday.
Lt. Quarles Harris Jr., 24, who had been cooperating with a federal investigators, was found late Thursday night slumped dead inside a car, in front of the Judah House Praise Baptist Church in Northeast, said Cmdr. Michael Anzallo, head of the department's Criminal Investigations Division.
Cmdr. Anzallo said a police officer was patrolling the neighborhood when gunshots were heard, then Lt. Harris was found dead inside the vehicle, which investigators would describe only as a blue car.
The Washington Times reported April 5 that contractors for the State Department had improperly accessed passport information for presidential candidates Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain, which resulted in a series of firings that reached into the agency's top ranks.