Southeast DC charter school ups security after student fatally shot nearby

Police are actively searching for a suspect in the fatal shooting of a Southeast D.C. teenager killed near his school on Sunday morning.

When police responded to the 3500 block of Wheeler Road, SE around 10:30 a.m. — less than a mile from Somerset Prep D.C. Public Charter School in Congress Heights — they found a 15-year-old boy who had been shot multiple times. He ultimately died from his wounds.

A short time later, three female victims showed up at a hospital, according to D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham.

“One of those females is a juvenile, and they were all suffering from non-life threatening injuries,” Newsham said.

In a letter to students, Somerset Prep principal Lauren Catalano identified the victim as Maurice Scott, a freshman at the school.

“This is a tragic loss for the Somerset Prep community,” Catalano wrote. “Maurice was a beloved student and had an infectious smile that brightened our school community every day. He had a passion for film production, sports, and was on our honor roll.”

Catalano said her administration is in contact with the Metropolitan Police Department as their investigation continues, but added the incident, which took place over the Memorial Day weekend, was not school-related.

Somerset Prep will operate on an early release schedule when classes resume on Tuesday. Students will be dismissed at 1:30 p.m., when grief counselors and school staff will be available for students and families.

“In response to this tragedy, classroom presentations will be conducted by the Department of Behavioral Health Crisis Intervention Team this week on campus,” Catalano said. “There will be additional police presence and private security at school in the coming days.”

She also encouraged parents to discuss emotional well being with their children, as well as safe passage to and from the school.

D.C. police continue their search for the suspects. They were last seen fleeing southbound on Wheeler Road in a light-colored, four-door sedan.

“What we believe happened is a vehicle pulled into the parking lot,” Newsham said. “A passenger in the vehicle exited the vehicle, he took out a long gun or rifle and he opened fire.”

Detectives are scouring the scene and searching for video images to aid their investigation.

Anyone with information about the shooting should call 202-727-9099 or text 50411.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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