DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) has pledged to bolster the size of the police force — the subject of debate during the current mayoral election cycle — and direct resources to people identified as the most at-risk to commit or be victimized by violence .
It is a part of a strategy to focus on what authorities say are the few people responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime. The District has identified 151 blocks where just over 40 percent of the gunfire is concentrated and about 200 individuals most at-risk of committing or being a victim of violent crime.
“We have a city that cares deeply about this issue of reducing gun violence and is willing to make really significant investments in doing exactly that,” Bowser said Thursday on a Zoom meeting discussing a crime plan commissioned by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, an independent city agency that coordinates work by various public safety offices.
The council members running against Bowser say the mayor has not backed up her rationale for wanting to expand the police force by hundreds of officers. Her challengers of her are instead pushing for more alternative justice programs and less reliance on law enforcement.
The latest fatal shooting occurred about 1:45 am Friday when police said a man was fatally shot in the 3700 block of 14th Street NW, on the border of the Columbia Heights and Petworth neighborhoods. A police spokeswoman said he was shot as he attempted to board a Metro bus. Authorities identified him as Anthony Arter, 18, of Northwest Washington.
About 11:40 pm Thursday, police said, Jordan Hill, 20 of Oxon Hill, Md., was fatally shot in the 3000 block of Stanton Road SE near the old Barry Farm community. No other details were available.
DC police also said Delonte Harrison, who was shot and seriously wounded about 9:35 am on Wednesday, died Thursday. That shooting occurred in the 1200 block of Brentwood Road NE, just off Rhode Island Avenue.
Police said Harrison, who lived near where he was shot in the Brentwood neighborhood, was attacked on the street in front of an apartment complex. Authorities did not provide a possible motive.
Homicides soar in District, Maryland suburbs in 2021
Police have also announced an arrest in the killings of two men this year.
On Thursday, police said they charged Raymond Khalil Jones, 27, of Temple Hills, Md., with two counts of first-degree murder while armed in connection with a double killing in the District.
In that case, police said Antoine Jenkins, 22, of Capitol Heights, Md., and Antwan Brown, 62, of Southeast Washington, were shot the afternoon of March 14 in the 700 block of 13th Street SE.
An arrest affidavit filed by police in DC Superior Court says the 3:20 pm shooting occurred in a parking lot at the Potomac Gardens complex near Capitol Hill.
In the affidavit, police quoted witnesses saying two men got out of the vehicle and began shooting. Police said at least 50 rounds were fired from two different handguns.
Authorities said that vehicle was later found burned at a gas station in Prince George’s County, Md. Surveillance video shows a man driving away from the gas station in a second vehicle, which the affidavit said police later found parked in Northeast Washington.
Police said they later stopped that vehicle and found two firearms inside, including a 9mm handgun the arrest affidavit says is linked to the fatal shootings at Potomac Gardens.
The affidavit does not describe a possible motive in the killings.
Jones’s defense attorney argued evidence against his client was circumstantial and described video evidence as “grainy.” The attorney also noted Jones has never been convicted of a violent crime and questioned the analysis linking the firearm to the shooting.
A DC Superior Court judge on Friday ordered Jones detained, noting the victims were struck by a total of six bullets. The judge noted that meant 44 bullets could have struck others.
Emily Davies contributed to this report.