D.C. police said a small child died of a gunshot wound on Chester Street, in Southeast D.C., on Wednesday afternoon.
The D.C. police said the a young boy was found unconscious and not breathing just before 1 p.m. Police chief Robert Contee said the child was a 1 year old.
At least one relative was with the child when he was shot. Police said that they are searching for the firearm that was used in the incident, according to WTOP news partner NBC Washington.
Contee said that it was too early to tell if the gunshot was self-inflicted, though he expected no immediate danger to the community. He added that the gun was not recovered and that police couldn’t confirm details on the firearm.
Contee took a moment at his afternoon press conference to discuss gun-related accidents with children in the community.
“You know, I don’t think we can emphasize how serious an issue the guns are in our communities,” he said. “And when there are firearms that are present in the home, sometimes those firearms can, unfortunately, find themselves in spaces and places where they shouldn’t be. And young children are on the receiving end of that.”
Chief Contee also expressed condolences for the family ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“I can’t imagine what they’re going through,” Contee said. “Right now, on the eve of Thanksgiving, to loose a life of a small child unnecessarily. You know, somehow a gun was present and we know that this child will not see Thanksgiving tomorrow.”
NBC Washington also reported that a witness said a man ran out of the building and said, “My baby has been shot!”
— Darcy Spencer (@darcyspencer) November 24, 2021
The police confirmed that they are conducting a death investigation, not a homicide investigation.
Anyone with information was encouraged to contact the Metropolitan Police Department.
WTOP’s Juan Herrera contributed to this reporting.