DC police said the violence began Friday afternoon and continued into the early hours of Tuesday, and much of it was concentrated east of the Anacostia River. The deaths brought the number of homicides that year to 109, making it 14 percent increase from this time in 2021. Killings are increasing in the district for the fifth year in a row; no arrests were made in the killings this month.
Youth have been hit particularly hard given the ongoing gun violence and city officials’ efforts to keep streets safe. This year 11 people under the age of 18 have been killed, surpassing the total of nine youths killed in any of the past two years.
In addition to the teenagers, Timothy Brady, 28, of Laurel, Md., was fatally shot just before 10 p.m. Sunday at the 1600 block of K Street NE. Daquan Hodge, 20, was killed early Monday in the 100 block of Ivanhoe Street SW. And Devin Denny, 32, of no fixed address, was killed early Tuesday at an apartment building on the 100 block of Yuma Street SE.
Last week, DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) dispatched “Safety Go Teams” made up of civilian mediators, including violence interrupters, to 19 at-risk neighborhoods to try to contain the July 4th weekend shooting.
Police originally said some of the shootings over the weekend took place in areas covered by those teams, but later updated their information and said none of the violence took place in those locations. District Deputy Police Chief Ashan M. Benedict said teams are focused on large gatherings, cookouts and block parties that could become targets or where disputes could escalate. Benedict said many of the recent shootings have been more isolated, e.g. B. Individuals were specifically attacked, or were the result of spontaneous disputes.
The mayor’s crime-fighting initiative, Building Blocks DC, is changing its structure
None of the fatal shootings appear related, Benedict said, and all five were in different police patrol areas. Many, he said, “were disputes that escalated to gunfire.” He said one fatal shooting was an attempted robbery “in which the deceased was the attacker”.
While no violence was reported during fireworks on the National Mall, where thousands gathered to celebrate, neighborhoods from Carver-Langston to Shaw, Fairlawn to Congress Heights and Bellevue to Randle-Highlands were riddled with gunfire over the long weekend.
Tuesday’s shooting that killed Simmons happened just after 1 a.m. on the 700 block of Kenilworth Terrace NE, near where he lives. Efforts to reach relatives on Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Wendell Felder, the advisory neighborhood commissioner for the area, said residents there heard so many fireworks and gunshots overnight Monday that “you couldn’t really tell the difference.”
He said he woke up to the news that another teenager had been killed.
“It’s extremely unfortunate,” said Felder. “Residents want safer communities. But crime has not only increased in the district, but across the country.”
Felder noted the deadly mass shooting at the July 4 parade in a suburb of Chicago and gunshots that wounded police officers in Philadelphia. Tackling crime in the district, he said, “requires a comprehensive approach by the community, government agencies and the police force to address these challenges.”
Simms, the teenager killed Friday, was shot just after 2:30 p.m. at the 800 block of Yuma Street SE, one block from the Ferebee-Hope Playground and Park.
Relatives gathered in the hours that followed the shooting outside a relative’s house nearby, where the teenager lay dead under a tent set up by police on a neighbor’s lawn. Sobs and anger echoed through the block as police investigated and DC Councilor Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) met with family and friends to defuse tensions. Attempts to reach these relatives were unsuccessful.
City leaders are under intense pressure to reduce violence, and Bowser has announced several initiatives involving a mix of law enforcement and other agencies focused on crime as a public health crisis. But a short-term solution has eluded the authorities so far.
Benedict said homicides are increasing but attacks are declining and the rate of robberies and vehicle thefts has slowed. Violent crime is up 9 percent; Overall crime increased by 1 percent.
Thousands of bullets were fired in this neighborhood of DC. Fear is part of everyday life.
Unlike previous years, district authorities are not launching an annual summer crime initiative, a long-standing staple of hot summer months, aimed at reducing crime in specific neighborhoods.
Benedict said officials would instead stick to an initiative announced in February called the “homicide reduction partnership,” which focuses resources on two counties east of Anacostia that accounted for 62 percent of the city’s homicides in 2021.
The initiative brings together local and state law enforcement agencies and has resulted in a 14 percent drop in homicides in those areas and an even greater drop in violent crime, according to Benedict. Authorities have also launched a program to focus resources in nightlife hubs, such as the H Street corridor and U Street, where 15-year-old Chase Poole was fatally shot during a cultural festival on June 19.
The Bowser administration has been criticized for its crime-fighting initiatives, and a Washington Post poll conducted in February found that more than 7 in 10 residents have donated the mayor negative notes to reduce crime.
Benedict said the lingering impact of pandemic shutdowns resulting in “a lack of distractions related to sports and science” and easy access to firearms has been a deadly combination.
“I think we need to go back to structured settings,” Benedict said. “There’s no way to address that.” He noted a fatal shooting last month that was the result of road rage.
“Normal arguments are elevated to violence,” Benedict said. “A traffic dispute escalated into a murder. We cannot monitor behavior but we try to be as visible and proactive as possible.”
Emily Davies and Perry Stein contributed to this report.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/07/05/shootings-homicides-washington/ Teenagers killed in spate of shootings in district over Bank Holiday weekend