‘Traumatizing, agonizing’: Dumfries family struggles to recover from fatal domestic shooting

A family in Dumfries continues to pick up the pieces following a shooting that killed a 3-year-old girl and wounded four of her teenage relatives earlier this month.

“Traumatizing, agonizing, overall just very stressful for us,” Trina Rhodes, the victims’ grandmother, said when speaking with WTOP’s news partners at NBC Washington.

Police said the boyfriend of one of Rhodes’ eight grandchildren opened fire inside their home on Milroy Drive in the South Cove neighborhood of Dumfries on Jan. 4. The three older sisters, aged 17, 16 and 14, as well as their 17-year-old uncle were injured. The girls’ youngest sister, 3-year-old Journee Carroll Ward, died.

“They can mask it sometimes by a big smile, but you know that there’s a lot of hurt,” Rhodes said.

Last year, the children lost their mother due to medical complications. Rhodes said that despite support from the community, it has been difficult.

“We don’t know what we’re going to get on a day to day basis,” Rhodes said. “We just don’t know.”

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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