On Wednesday night, a 15 month old baby was shot and killed at Southern Avenue SE and Central Avenue SE while in his family’s car. The baby was struck by gunfire at about 9:37 p.m., said Chief Peter Newsham.
Speaking at a Dec. 3 press conference, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Cheif said that from the available evidence, police believed it was a targeted homicide.
This is the 187th homicide in the District this year, and the second child under twelve to be killed in 2020. 11-year-old Davon McNeal was murdered at a community cookout on July 4.
Last night, 1 y/o Carmelo Duncan lost his life to gun violence in our city. MPD is committed to bringing justice to his family and need your help in identifying those responsible.
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) December 3, 2020
Newsham cited illegal firearms as the root cause of the spike in killings this year.
“There are too many illegal firearms in the District of Columbia,” Newsham said. “There are too many folks who are out in our community who think that it’s okay to use them in this (way).”
Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) expressed her condolences for the family of the victim and emphasized the importance of ending violence in the District starting with holding those responsible for the homicide accountable for their actions.
“There are simply no words for the sense of outrage that we should all feel at the loss of this beautiful baby boy,” Bowser said. “We’re all sick of the heinous violence in our city and the pain and havoc that guns are causing. It goes without saying that MPD needs our help.”
Residents can text 50411 or call 202-727-9099 with information. The District is offering a reward of 60,000 dollars to anyone who can provide information that can lead to an arrest and conviction.
Bowser also about the spike in COVID-19 cases.
Today 322 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the District, a total that rivals any other reported single-day high. Bowser encouraged residents to continue to practice social distancing in the waiting period before the vaccine is distributed.
“We want people to be extra cautious about what they do when they go out,” Bowser said. “With the vaccine going through the approval process there is light, certainly, at the end of the tunnel, but we need to get there together.”
Bowser also said the District is working to get more doses of the vaccine for its 80,000 healthcare workers. It’s current allotment is about 8,000 doses.
Sarah Payne is a History and Neuroscience student at The University of Michigan interning with the Hill Rag. She writes for and serves as an assistant news editor for Michigan’s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. You can reach her at email@example.com.