There were at least four shooters and more than 100 rounds fired in Sunday’s deadly Southeast D.C. shooting, police Chief Peter Newsham said Monday.
“The preliminary investigation has revealed that over 100 rounds were fired on the scene of this shooting,” Newsham said. “There were multiple shooters who fired simultaneously. We believe that there were at least four and maybe more shooters who all shot at the same time.”
That shooting left 17-year-old Christopher Brown dead and 21 others injured. “There were 12 female victims, nine male victims,” Newsham said.
Brown was a father; among the injured was an off-duty female police officer, who was shot in the neck and is still in the hospital.
Newsham said the shootings could have been sparked by a personal dispute, but the motives are still under investigation. One weapon was recovered at the scene.
He added that he was proud of the way officers responded but concerned that a party of that size had been organized.
“The police officers who were there responded in what I would say was a heroic fashion,” Newsham said. “When the gunshots were fired, the police officers ran towards the gunshots.”
“However, I am very concerned that a gathering of that size was able to accumulate without our managers over at the 6th District being able to prevent that. So, we will take a look as to whether that could have been handled in a better way,” he added.
D.C.’s COVID-19 restrictions ban public gatherings of more than 50 people.
According to Newsham, Sunday’s shooting stands out. “I can’t recall a situation where we have that many folks injured by gunfire in one incident in my career,” he said.
Newsham urged anyone with information about the shooting to get in touch with police.
More than 115 people have been killed in D.C. this year, including 11-year-old Davon McNeal, who was shot and killed last month. The Associated Press reported that this year’s homicide numbers are a 17% increase over this time in 2019.
WTOP’s Teta Alim and The Associated Press contributed to this report.