For most people, New Year’s is a holiday to reminisce about the past year and spend time with your loved ones. The Morse family did not get that opportunity.
According to FOX 5 DC, Alex Morse, a longtime Capitals season-ticket holder, was an innocent bystander to an argument between two groups of people that escalated to violence in Northwest DC. When shots were fired, Morse was caught in the crossfire and rushed to hospital in a critical condition. DC police chief Peter Newsham informed FOX 5 DC that an investigation was still ongoing into the attack and that they were currently searching for a suspect in a red shirt.
“He has always been an awesome friend to me, and others we grew up with. I was shocked and heartbroken when I heard the news yesterday,” Jillian Gardner, a close friend of Morse and his family, said to RMNB. “He’s the nicest guy.
“Alex and I grew up together in McLean and rode the school bus together since kindergarten,” Gardner continued. “This was back in the ’80s where hockey wasn’t a thing in DC, so those of us who were Caps fans back then will always be bonded together. After high school we kept in touch basically because of the Caps, seeing each other at games or messaging about the team’s highs and lows. Alex is a massive sports fan, who had two of his teams win championships this year – the Caps and the Red Sox.”
Gardner, like Morse, goes to a ton of Caps games and has been a season-ticket holder herself for the past 10 years. “He goes to as many games as he can. A couple years ago we got the old group from the neighborhood together and went to a game – great night even if we lost in OT.”
Some of those many games that Morse attended came during the Capitals historical Stanley Cup run. Alex Ovechkin is his favorite player.
“He and his girlfriend, Rebecca Newbill went to the playoffs Round One, Game Five, where we beat Columbus in OT. He was ecstatic about being there and the win,” Gardner said. “The Game Six win against the Lightning that they attended was the 6th game they attended as a couple. They were all wins when they went to games together as a couple, so he said she was the good luck charm.”
Once the Capitals secured their Stanley Cup win, Morse, like many fans in the District, made sure to celebrate it in style. “They also went to the parade and celebrated the Stanley Cup win, and they went to the banner-raising opening game this season, which was another shutout win. Their last game on December 11th was where he saw his first ever hat trick, and their personal record of attending games together improved to 8-0, which he is very proud of.”
With Morse being so beloved by his friends, and with such a solidified place in his own tight-knit Caps community, it was little surprise to find that they sprung into action to do what they could to support his family.
Alex Palombo, a friend of Morse, set up a GoFundMe page to alleviate any money concerns that Morse, his girlfriend Rebecca Newbill, or his family might have. In less than 24-hours, the power of the Capitals hockey community has managed to raise — at the time of writing this article — $24,182.
F.P. Santangelo, TV broadcaster for the Washington Nationals, also brought attention to the cause, being close to another of Morse’s friends.
— F.P. Santangelo (@FightinHydrant) January 2, 2019
But it is not just those within the Washington sports community that Morse’s story has resonated with. A Flyers fan by the name of Gritty’s Army left the following message, alongside their $100 donation.
I may be a Flyers fan but Gritty is pure of heart and brings out the best in us all. As a member of his army I’ve got no problem reaching across the ice and helping out a Caps fan. Hopefully sometime soon we can pass as two ships in the night, possibly cursing one another at a match up at Capital One Arena. Wouldn’t that be grand? Alex recovered, attending a game, cheering his team. As a bonus maybe we’ll yell friendly-mean things at each other when our teams play. If Alex is at a game, then he’s probably well recovered. And that’s what’s important. Plus he’s a friend of Rachel Marshall and any friend of hers has my support. All the best to you!
We are wishing all the best for Morse, his girlfriend Rebecca, family, dog Ozzie, and all of his friends.
10 pm update: According to WTOP, a suspect has been arrested for the incident.
A Northeast D.C. man has been arrested in a shooting that critically wounded a man Tuesday afternoon.
William D’Sean Wrice, 20, has been charged with assault with intent to kill following the incident at First and Kennedy streets in Northwest D.C.
Headline photo: Jillian Gardner
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