Police in Washington, D.C., are calling for community input to catch the perpetrators of a mass shooting at a crowded block party over the weekend that left one person dead and 20 others, including a police officer, injured.
“Everybody who attended that event, everybody who has information, has a civic responsibility to let us know who was responsible for this,” Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham said.
“This is absolutely ridiculous. This is unacceptable.”
Mayor Muriel Bowser called the shootings “horrific” and said Washingtonians were “fed up with senseless violence and desperate for solutions.”
Newsham said the shootings appeared to have been sparked by a personal dispute and that the motives were still being investigated.
The shootings occurred late Saturday night when at least four gunmen opened fire in the midst of a large public cookout in the southeastern Washington neighborhood of Greenway, Newsham said.
A 17-year-old boy was killed and 20 other people injured. Among the wounded were 11 women, including an off-duty female police officer who was shot in the neck and remains hospitalized.
One weapon was recovered from the scene and nearly 100 bullets were fired, police said.
The shootings continue a violent year for the District of Columbia. More than 115 people have been killed this year, including an 11-year-old boy shot during a Fourth of July cookout.
This year’s homicide numbers are a 17 percent increase from this time in 2019, which recorded the highest number of homicides in a decade.
Newsham has blamed gun violence on the flow of firearms into DC from neighboring states and lax sentencing laws that he says allow violent offenders back on the streets too quickly.
Police officers were present at the time of the shootings, but Newsham said there were “not enough police officers on the scene to handle a crowd of that size.”
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