A 6-year-old girl was killed and five others wounded Friday night when gunfire erupted in Southeast Washington, D.C.
In a Twitter video post from the Metropolitan Police Department, Assistant Police Chief Ashan Benedict said officers from District 7 heard shots near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X Avenues around 11:10 p.m. Friday night.
As the officers approached the scene in the Southeast section of the city, a group of people ran toward them, several with gunshot wounds.
“There are six victims in this shooting, Benedict said in the video post. “Three adult males and two adult females, and a 6-year-old female, who has been pronounced deceased at an area hospital.”
The five adult victims went to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, he said.
Benedict said detectives were investigating the scene of the shooting and reviewing videos and speaking to witnesses. He then extended the department’s thoughts and prayers to the child’s family and the other victims.
“Any shooting that takes place in the city is unacceptable,” he said. “We are responding to too many (shooting) calls with children. There is too much gun violence in this city and young children are being harmed.”
Benedict asked for the public’s help in providing information about the shooting, and the department put out a separate tweet saying they were looking for “a dark vehicle” in connection with the crime.
Department Public Information Officer Alaina Gertz told Newsmax Saturday that she could not provide any further details about the shooting, and that the department is not yet releasing the identities of the victims.
She did ask members of the public that may have information on the shooting to contact the department at (202) 727-9099, or text the tip line at 50411.
According to the department’s website, District 7 has seen a slight uptick in violent crimes during the past year with 242 incidents compared to 232 last year.
The number of homicides in District 7 rose from 26 to 29, assaults with a dangerous weapon increased in the district from 121 last year to 123 this year, and robberies increased from 84 to 90 in that district, according to the department.
The increases are also citywide, with the number of violent crimes with a gun increasing from 870 last year to 1,020 this year.
While assaults with a dangerous weapon and robberies are up citywide, 453 to 420 last year, and 479 to 356 last year respectively, homicides throughout the city are down with 83 this year compared to 90 last year, according to the department.
Newsmax sent an email to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office for comment on this story but did not receive a response before the story was filed.
In a recent televised interview with CBS News, however, Bowser said while it is hard to specifically account for the increase in violent gun crimes in the city, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and illegal gun trafficking play a large part in the upward trend.
“We are coming out of a 100-year pandemic where people are out of work, kids were out of school, joblessness is up, and all of those things certainly contribute to crime on streets,” Bowser said during the June 30 interview. “But we are focused on it, and we have strategies that we are putting in place and are funding them. I think you are going to see historic investments in cities across America because of the “American Rescue Plan.”
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