Grandmother of teen killed in Columbia Heights remembers ‘bright child’

The grandmother of a teenager who was fatally shot in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of D.C. is speaking out about gun violence and remembering the “bright child” who laughed at everything.

Alvoncia Jackson said she last saw her grandson Malachi Jackson, 15,  when he walked her to an appointment on Monday afternoon.

He told his grandmother that he loved her and they hugged. She told him to go back home to his mother and she will call him later. That night, Malachi Jackson was found on the 3000 block of 13 Street Northwest with gunshot wounds. He died at the scene.

His family believes that his death was related to an ongoing conflict between rival neighborhoods.

“It’s basically, ‘You can’t come in my neighborhood. We live on side A and you live on side B.’ But the school zone is between A and B. So, where does that leave the children,” Alvoncia Jackson said. Malachi Jackson was a student at Theodore Roosevelt High School.

The family is planning a balloon release on April 23 at the place where he was found. They will say prayers for him and talk about his life because “he deserves this,” Alvoncia Jackson said. She hopes Mayor Muriel Bowser will come.

“I would like her to be there. The reason why I want her there is because this is her city. Washington, D.C. is her city. These kids are dying in her jurisdiction. The police can only do so much. I need her to come out. I need her to speak. I need her to let us know what she’s planning on doing in the city,” Alvoncia Jackson said.

Alvonicia Jackson is also calling for harder gun laws.

“There should be harder gun laws with these children out here. These children are carrying AKs; they’re carrying semi-automatics. They don’t know how to shoot them guns. They’re killing innocent people,” she said.

She’s also calling on parents to be more involved.

“You do have some parents that go to the school meetings. And you do have parents that’s out here fighting for the kids. What I’m saying is the children that is out here carrying these guns, the children that’s smoking and drinking and doing the grown-up things out here. Where’s your parents?” Alvoncia Jackson said.

She said her grandson was not a bad child and was a “typical 15-year-old,” and he had a family that cared for him and that he helped take care of.

WTOP’s Liz Anderson contributed to this report. 

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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