6-Year-Old Girl Is Killed in Washington, D.C. Shooting

6-Year-Old Girl Is Killed in Washington, D.C. Shooting

A 6-year-old girl was killed and five adults were wounded on Friday night in a shooting in Washington, the police said.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police Department responded at 11:11 p.m. to a report of multiple shooting victims near an intersection in the capital’s Southeast quadrant, a spokesman for the department, Dustin Sternbeck, said in an email early on Saturday.

Ashan M. Benedict, the department’s executive assistant chief of police, later told reporters near the scene of the shooting that a 6-year-old girl had been killed and that three men and two women had been wounded.

Chief Benedict said that the adults were taken to various hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. The girl was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

“There is too much gun violence still perpetuating in this city and too many children are being harmed, innocent children, by gunfire,” Chief Benedict said.

He said that just after 11 p.m., police officers heard the gunshots on Martin Luther King Avenue and rushed to the scene. When they arrived, they found a group of people rushing toward them and the victims, he said.

“Any shooting that takes place in the city is unacceptable, and again, we’re responding to too many calls of children being affected by gunfire,” said Chief Benedict, who also asked the public to call the police with any information about the shootings. “So please help us bring these shooters to justice.”

As of 1 a.m. on Saturday, several blocks around the crime scene had been sealed off with police tape.

The Metropolitan Police Department said on Twitter that its officers were searching for a dark-colored vehicle in connection with the shooting. No other details were immediately available.

Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue is lined with retail shops, including a convenience store and liquor store. But the main thoroughfare branches off into narrower tree-lined streets, with hundreds of homes behind chain-linked fencing.

The shooting took place on the other side of the Anacostia River from the Capitol and a few blocks from the headquarters of the Coast Guard.

Novella Holiday, who lives near where the shooting occurred, said she was not surprised by the violence. During the day, the shops and sidewalks along the avenue are largely filled with families, most with young children, but at night shootings are common, she said.

“It saddens me,” Ms. Holiday said on Saturday morning as she sat on her front porch. She said since she moved into her home four years ago, she has heard gunshots many times.

“It’s very disturbing,” Ms. Holiday said. “If I had it my way, guns would disappear.”

Homicide rates in large U.S. cities last year were up by more than 30 percent on average, according to criminologists. With coronavirus pandemic restrictions receding across the country, police departments have been concerned about the potential for a rise in violence this summer.

But in Washington, data from the Metropolitan Police Department indicates that as of Friday, the number of homicides so far this year — 101 — is exactly the same as it was at this point in 2020.

Maria Cramer contributed reporting.

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