15-year-old killed; officer, 2 others wounded after Juneteenth celebration

A 15-year-old boy is dead and three people wounded, including a D.C. police officer, after a shooting that happened just after an unpermitted Juneteenth event at 14th and U streets in Northwest on Sunday evening, police said.

Social media had promoted a free music event known as Moechella and several hundred people were gathering in the area around 6 p.m., Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said. The music event did not have a permit.

Police arrived to assist the crowd, and people stayed mostly to the sidewalks as music played from a truck, he said.

Contee said that an “incident or fight” broke out around 6 p.m., causing people to scatter shortly before officers shut down the event. In the interim, he said, weapons were found in the unpermitted event area.

The shooting began as first responders were attempting to help attendees who were hurt while running from the event. He said the events occurred between 6 and 8:30 p.m.

A handgun was recovered from one of the victims but not the firearm believed to have caused the death and injuries, Contee said. No police fired their weapons and there was no exchange of gunfire, he said.

The police chief said officials would be speaking to event organizers and considering what legal action could be taken because the event lacked a permit.

“As we continue to cultivate a platform to uplift the culture of Washington DC, we don’t condone violence of any sort,” the event organizers, Long Live GoGo, said in an Instagram post. “Moechella is a symbol of black culture in dc and is built on the foundation of peace.”

D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau represents Ward 1, where the event was held.

“I will continue to emphasize this — the continued availability of firearms cannot be tolerated, and we must continue our work to get guns off the streets,” she said. “I want to express my deep condolences to the family of the young victim tonight. My thoughts are also with the three others injured and hope for a quick recovery.”

Mayor Muriel Bowser also offered condolences to the family whose child died in the shooting, and she voiced her concerns over crowd control issues during unapproved events and the presence of guns in heavily populated, public areas.

“We need some accountability here,” Bowser told reporters.

The other two adults injured in the shooting have been hospitalized, and more firearms were discovered in the area. All, including the D.C. officer, were described as being in stable condition.

Police are still searching for a suspect.

A map of the approximate shooting location is shown below.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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