A spate of shootings in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 7 left two people dead, another person injured and residents outraged.
Deandre Coleman, 16, was gunned down Wednesday along Hillside Road between 46th Street and Benning Road. Another person was also shot and was hospitalized, police said.
The shooting that claimed Coleman’s life was one of two in the ward that day. Hours earlier, at 11:44 a.m., 30-year-old Israel Mattocks, of Southwest, D.C., was shot outside of a shoe store along the 3900 block of Minnesota Avenue NE, police said.
On Thursday night, another man died in the street after being shot along the 4400 block of Bowen Road SE, police said. This shooting was just two blocks from Coleman’s murder.
Homicides in Washington, D.C. have jumped 14% since the same time in 2021, according to police data. As of Thursday, the District has recorded at least 93 homicides. Five teenagers were killed in shootings so far this year.
Ward 7 residents call the rise in gun violence toxic, tragic and terrifying.
“It’s traumatic, it’s really uncomfortable being around here knowing that that’s happening. Like, i have a little nephew that i want to come outside but don’t feel comfortable because stuff like this is happening,” said a 23-year-old resident who asked that his name not be shared.
Commissioner Tyrell Holcomb with the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 7F is outraged by the jump in gun violence. He’s calling on the departments of Health, Behavioral Health and Homeland Security to step up services and to meet with the Minnesota Avenue Improvement Task Force. Holcomb believes police alone cannot tamper down the violence.
“MPD is not the agency responsible for addressing mental health issues. MPD is not the agency responsible for providing housing and opportunities to community members who need them. MPD is not the agency that’s responsible for being able to get people treatment that’s needed as it relates to drug addiction and drug abuse,” Holcomb said.
“Their agency is responsible for public safety and there are a number of matters that go beyond public safety.”