16-year-old fatally stabbed after dispute over sweet-and-sour sauce near McDonald’s in Northwest DC

A 16-year-old Waldorf, Maryland, girl has been ordered to be held at the D.C. juvenile detention center in the stabbing death of another teenager.

Naima Liggon, 16, also of Waldorf, died after she was stabbed following a party in the District.

The accused teenager is facing multiple charges, including second-degree murder while armed and assault with intent to kill while armed.

Liggon was stabbed outside of a McDonald’s at 14th and U streets Northwest around 2 a.m. on Sunday. A detective told a Juvenile Court judge that the killing followed a dispute over sweet-and-sour sauce, which began in the back seat of a car and spilled out on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant.

The court was told that Liggon was stabbed twice — in the abdomen and chest — and the bloody knife was found in the possession of the accused girl who was located a block away by officers.

An initial court hearing Monday afternoon revealed that the two teens were part of a group of five girls who met up at the Birchwood Recreation Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on Saturday and then drove to the District to attend a party at 15th Street Northwest. A detective testified that following the party, the girls visited the restaurant.

A defense attorney for the girl sought to have her released to the custody of her parents, arguing that the killing was an act of self-defense — after the dispute spilled out of the car and she was beaten by Liggon and another girl who had been in the back seat of the car. The defense also said that the girl has no previous criminal history.

But the judge ordered the girl to be held after a detective testified that video surveillance cameras and witnesses indicated that Liggon was stabbed once during the tussle on the sidewalk, then again as the teenager accused of the stabbing lunged toward Liggon and stabbed her a second time as she began to take her seat while returning to the car.

The girl accused of stabbing Liggon was left on the sidewalk, as the driver and other two girls drove with the wounded Liggon to the hospital, where she died of her injuries.

The detective said the girl accused of stabbing Liggon was located about a block from where the incident took place, and she was identified by the other girls who were each returned to the scene by homicide detectives.

The judge found that the prosecutor established “substantial probability” for the four counts of second-degree murder while armed, assault with intent to kill while armed, aggravated assault while armed and felony assault. The judge also found probable cause for possession of a prohibited weapon and carrying a dangerous weapon.

The girl will be held at the D.C. Youth Services Center, and she faces a detention status hearing Sept. 1.

How could a fight over sweet-and-sour sauce lead to a teenager’s death?

“It’s senseless,” Naima Liggon’s mother, Joy Liggon, said after hearing that her daughter may have lost her life after a fight over dipping sauce.

Sixteen-year-old Naima Liggon was stabbed to death following a dispute in a McDonald’s restaurant in Northwest Washington, D.C. (Courtesy Joy Liggon)

“I can’t understand how any type of a fight, whether it’s over sweet-and-sour sauce or any other topic, could result in a murder,” Joy Liggon told WTOP.

Liggon said she does not know what justice should look like for her daughter, especially since the person accused of taking her life is the same age as Naima.

“I do want there to be some justice for my child, but I also don’t want to … see multiple families ruined by this,” Joy Liggon said.

Joy said her daughter’s loss leaves a hole in the hearts of those she left behind.

“Naima was beautiful, smart … she was funny, unique. She loves life,” Liggon said.

She said her daughter loved music and basketball and was learning to cut hair because she wanted to become a barber.

“I would love to have seen her grow old and live out whatever her purpose was, but I believe that everything that happens, it is God’s will, and so there has to be a lesson in this in some way, shape or form. I don’t know what that is yet,” Liggon said.

As she and her family grieve, Liggon said she would like to send one message to all parents.

“Make sure that they (your kids) know every time that they walk out of your door, that they are loved because you don’t know if that’s the last time that you’re going to see them,” she said.

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Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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