Amid gun violence ‘spike,’ DC police chief says summer crime staffing ‘sufficient’

After a long holiday weekend that included the Sunday shooting death of 15-year-old Maurice Scott near his Somerset Prep D.C. charter school and the Monday shooting that injured five in Barry Farm, police Chief Peter Newsham said he trusts the District’s summer crime initiative will work.

“This was a spike over a couple of days,” Newsham said. “If you look at the two cases over the weekend where we had multiple people shot, you have bad actors, with no regard for human life, no regard for public safety, just driving into communities and opening fire.”

On Sunday, in the 3500 block of Wheeler Road Southeast, a man got out of a vehicle with a rifle and opened fire.

“He struck two women, a young girl, and he ended up killing a 15-year-old boy,” Newsham said. “The 15-year-old was a great kid,” he added, referring to Scott. 

Police issued a lookout for an older model, light-colored, four-door sedan, going south on Wheeler Road. Newsham said police “have received some pretty good information,” and asked anyone who might have seen the vehicle to call police.

On Sunday, police found 44-year-old Michael Hooker, of Southeast, on the 2700 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue with laceration wounds. He died from his injuries.

On Monday afternoon, five people, including one child, were shot — none were killed — in the Barry Farm neighborhood. Police are searching for a gray or silver four-door vehicle seen fleeing Sumner Road, toward Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue Southeast.

Early Tuesday morning, Newsham said a man was killed in the 2600 block of Birney Place Southeast.

Police found two men who were shot. One man had a gunshot wound. The other man, 36-year-old William Boykins, of District Heights, was shot multiple times. Both victims were taken to the hospital. Boykin died from his injuries. The other man had injuries that are not life-threatening.

“A young man walked behind a building, and apparently, somebody followed him on foot and opened fire,” he said. Investigators believe the man was targeted.

Despite the rash in gun violence, Newsham is confident the District’s summer crime initiative — which aims to reduce summer violence in violence-prone neighborhoods — will work.

“We have sufficient police staffing out there,” Newsham said. “We have to continue to get these illegal firearms and repeat violent offenders off the street, and that’s what we intend to do.”

Newsham said in a news conference that D.C. police recovered 20 illegal firearms over the weekend.

“We’re not going to tolerate this as a police department,” Newsham said. “We’re going to roll up our sleeves — we’re going to find the people that are responsible.”

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