D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee, flanked by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser at a Saturday afternoon news conference, asked for the public’s help to identify a silver sedan used in a Friday night drive-by shooting that left six-year-old Nyiah Courtney dead.
Contee also said a reward no less than $60,000 is being offered to anyone who can provide information leading to an arrest in the crime that killed the girl and wounded five others.
“Together we will do whatever it takes to close this case in a swift and professional manner,” Contee said.
Contee said Nyiah would have been starting the first grade this fall. “And now that won’t happen,” he said.
He urged the community to come together to curb the ongoing gun violence in the city.
“We have a collective responsibility to ensure our children have every opportunity to be safe from violence. I am asking that we all stand together and say no more. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired,” Contee said.
Police released a video Saturday showing a silver sedan driving through the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X avenues in Congress Heights at approximately 11 p.m. Friday. Contee described the event as “a drive-by shooting.”
Video of vehicle can be seen here: pic.twitter.com/kyF5vZr8NI
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) July 17, 2021
In total, six people were shot, including Nyiah Courtney, who was taken to a hospital where she would be pronounced dead. Three men and two women were also taken to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
Contee and Bowser urged city residents to help police identify the owner of the vehicle, its driver and other passengers.
“We ask that people take a moment to see if they recognize the car and provide tips or information to bring closure for Nyiah,” Contee said.
Justice for Nyiah was the news conference theme.
“We know from past instances that the community can help us close cases by sharing information or simply reposting images,” he added.
The FBI and the ATF are partnering with D.C. police to help identify the shooter. The agencies also contributed towards the reward.
During the news conference officials acknowledged they did not yet know what the motive for the shooting was.
Community members attending the news conference said they wanted more from the police.
“I charged the police with a simple thing,” Bowser said. “What I believe is we don’t let people get away with murder in our town. We have to stand up against it. We don’t let anybody get away with murder. And we don’t do street justice because then other innocent people get caught up in it. Law enforcement is responsible for arresting and ensuring justice.”
Contee pleaded with the community to come forward with any information.
“We got to make sure that we are getting the right guns out of the wrong hands of people who should not have them in our community. I guarantee you when we find out who did this, they’re no stranger to our system.”
“If we still got people willing to use a firearm in our community, I think that the entire community needs to be together to ensure that that individual is held accountable,” he added, calling the shooting brazen.
Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call is asked to call 202-727-9099 or text police at 50411.