A 6-year-old girl was killed and five others were injured when an armed man opened fire Friday night in a neighborhood in Washington DC, just meters from where police officers were stationed.
The shot broke out shortly after noon. 23 Friday in the Congress Heights section of southeast Washington.
Police officers who were nearby responded to the scene about 34 seconds after the first shot was heard and rushed the girl to a local hospital in a police car where she was pronounced dead, police chief Robert Metropole said.
Police identified the girl as Nyiah Courtney. Three men and two women received non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.
“We will do whatever it takes to conclude this case in a prompt and professional manner,” Contee told a news conference Saturday.
Officials believe the shots – in what Contee called a “naughty” shooting – came from a passing vehicle. Police were expected to release video of the vehicle later Saturday and offered a reward of up to $ 60,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case.
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“She started first grade this fall and now it’s not going to happen, and honestly it’s unacceptable to me and it should be to any resident,” Contee said of the child.
Community members confronted Mayor Muriel Bowser and other city officials at the press conference and demanded that they take immediate action against nearby wine trade, which they claim attracts violence in the area. They described several other recent shootings in the same area.
Bowser and Contee said the community also needs to help police try to reduce neighborhood violence.
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“The cowards who committed this crime entered this community without regard for human life without regard for Nyiah’s life and opened fire,” Contee said. “It can and will not be tolerated. It is time for us to say enough is enough.”
Washington, like many other major cities in the United States, is seeing an increase in violent crime and homicide. Murders in the district are rising for the fourth year in a row, with over 100 killings already reported in 2021.
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Although it is typical to see an increase in crime in the summer months, despite the nationwide increase in crime this year easy explanation. Experts point to a number of potential causes: the pandemic that has killed more than 600,000 people in the United States, concerns about the economy, large gatherings after months of residency, intense stress and even the hot weather.