Girl, 6, Killed in Mass Shooting in Southeast DC

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A 6-year-old girl was killed and five adults were shot in what officials called a drive-by shooting in Southeast Washington, D.C. after gunfire erupted outside a liquor store and convenience store.
Officers heard shots about 11 p.m. at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X Avenues Southeast and saw people rushing toward them, Executive Assistant Police Chief Ashan Benedict said.
The girl, who officials identified as Nyiah Courtney, two women and three men had been shot, police said
Last night, 6 year-old Nyiah Courtney tragically lost her life to senseless gun violence.


We seek our community’s help to bring justice and closure to Nyiah’s family.
If you have any information about the vehicle pictured below, please call (202) 727-9099 or text 50411 pic.twitter.com/vmnotz6LoS
Nyiah was rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead. The adults are being treated for their wounds and are expected to recover, police said. Their identities are not being released because they are considered witnesses in the case, D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said.
Police believe the shooter fled in a grey or silver four-door sedan and are investigating whether there were multiple gunmen. They released video of the suspect vehicle
“We’re asking… that everyone post that video far and wide,” Contee said. “That car should not be able to be in the DMV area anywhere and not be noticed. Someone in the community has seen that car operating, yesterday, perhaps today, and I’m asking justice for Nyiah. Let’s find that car and let’s find the individuals responsible.
The Mellon Mart down the street also captured the aftermath of the shooting. Video shows how people scattered once shots were fired, and how police officers ran to the victims.
Crime scene tape blocked off Mart Liquor and other storefronts as detectives investigated.


A $60,000 reward is being offered in the case and officials are urging the public to come forward with information.
“There’s too much gun violence, still, perpetuated in this city and too many children are being harmed — innocent children — by gunfire,” Benedict said. “Please help the police department and our detectives bring those people to justice and help bring some closure to the families.”
Anyone with information can call 202-727-9099 or anonymously text 50411.
Nyiah was known by merchants on the block where she was shot. One business owner, Ephram Kassaye, said he had fond memories of the girl who nicknamed him “Curly.”
He’d give her ice creams or a couple dollars when she’d come in with her little sister and their parents.
“I just love the girl,” Kassaye said. “Sometimes I came sad here from other places and I see her. She says, ‘Hey Curly,’ she comes, she gives me a hug, and I forget everything about it.”
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser also pled with the public to come forward with information.
“Today our city is heartbroken. A child’s life was taken, and there is no way to make sense of the callousness or cruelty,” she said
Other officials have also issued harsh rebukes of the dangers children face.
“They can’t come and just enjoy themselves like normal kids because they have to duck and watch for bullets,” Victoria Akinseye, a Ward 8 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, said.
Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White said during Saturday’s press conference that D.C.’s closing of recreation centers had a role to play in the uptick in violence.
“We’re playing catch up at the expense of people’s lives,” he said.
Sharif Omar, a local merchant, said the solution involves residents taking stock and pride in where they live. He added that the problem is not in the lack of programs or recreation centers, but the proliferation of liquor stores and other businesses where trouble seems to take root doesn’t help.


Others agree that change has to come from within, though the heart of a gunman and the minds of the violent are an admittedly tougher challenge.
“Just be honest, we’re not going to be able to end all the violence. But what we can do is start to change the culture of how we go about resolving conflicts,” Salim Adolfo, Chairperson of the ANC 8C, said.
The fatal shooting occurred three years to the day after 10-year-old Makiyah Wilson was shot in Northeast D.C. while trying to buy ice cream near a busy apartment courtyard.
About a year later, 11-year-old Karon Brown was shot and killed at a gas station in Southeast D.C. when several adults got into an argument and gunfire broke out, police say.
Before shooting, 101 people had been killed this year in the District. By Saturday’s date last year, 102 people had been reported killed in D.C., according to police data.

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