Calling the shooting “unfathomable,” D.C. officials identified the 15-month-old boy who was killed in Southeast on Wednesday night and offered a $60,000 reward for information.
During a news conference Thursday, Mayor Muriel Bowser said Carmelo Duncan was the baby struck by gunfire while inside his family’s car around 9:35 p.m. in the 5700 block of Southern Avenue Southeast, near the Prince George’s County, Maryland, border.
Duncan was shot multiple times, according to D.C. police.
“There’s simply no words for the sense of outrage that we should all feel at the loss of this beautiful baby boy, Carmelo,” Bowser said. “We talk a lot about gun violence each and every day, and the havoc and pain that guns are causing in our city.”
“Now, we have lost a 15-month-old precious boy, and we need to spend more time talking about the victims. The level of senselessness is impossible to process. And we need everybody’s help to bring justice to this baby Carmelo and his family, and to get a very dangerous person off the streets.”
Outgoing police Chief Peter Newsham said Carmelo is the youngest victim of gun violence in D.C. so far this year.
“This is an unfathomable tragedy,” Newsham said. He added that, for Carmelo’s family, “the only thing that we can do to help solve your pain is trying to find the person or persons who are responsible.”
According to Newsham, there is forensic evidence that more than one gun was used, but officials can’t yet report on how many different types of rounds hit the vehicle.
Newsham also believes that the vehicle — driven by Carmelo’s father, and with a second child on board, neither of whom were injured — was targeted, not part of a random attack.
“I will reiterate what the mayor said with regards to the folks that are responsible for this: You need to come and turn yourself in,” Newsham said. “Because we are going to make every effort and spend as much time as we need to define the person or persons who are responsible.”
Police are looking for a dark gray SUV with dark-tinted windows that may have been involved in the shooting. Newsham said the area is still being canvassed for possible video footage.
A $60,000 reward — through D.C., the FBI and ATF — is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the suspects in the case.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, anonymous tips can be sent to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE by text message to 50411.
Below is a map of where the shooting took place.