DC leaders plead with residents to help solve shooting that killed boy outside church

WASHINGTON — Steven Slaughter will never go to prom, he’ll never get married and he’ll never play little league football again.

The 14-year-old was gunned down outside a church in Anacostia Sunday evening as he walked home from a convenience store with two friends, officials said.

On Wednesday, D.C. leaders pleaded with residents of Anacostia to come forward with any information they might know about the shooting that killed the boy just a few blocks from his home.

Steven was shot multiple times in front of Garden Memorial Presbyterian Church. Witnesses have given police conflicting information about what happened and surveillance video did not provide detectives with any leads as to who might have pulled the trigger, said Police Chief Peter Newsham.

A silver or gray, older model Mercedes was seen leaving the area after the shooting. And Newsham wants to hear from anyone who may have seen that vehicle or who has surveillance video that might have captured the car as it drove away from the scene.

Police haven’t found any links to other recent shootings in the area, Newsham said.

One of those shootings was over a pair of shoes, said Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, who implored residents to speak out and stop the “senseless violence.”

“Bad things happen when good people do nothing. It’s imperative that the community step up because this could have been your child, it could have been my child,” White said.

White said that Steven was a loved young man, who played little league football and whose family is devastated by his death.

“This was not a troubled youth,” he said.

“The more people who stay silent and don’t do anything about the violence in our community — we’ll be here again and again.”

Two other young men were also killed this month, said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Even as White, Newsham and Bowser addressed reporters outside the church, four people were shot just a few blocks away.

The sirens of fire trucks and ambulances briefly silenced the District leaders as they waited for the emergency vehicles to pass.

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