String of crimes rock DC over Thanksgiving weekend

- Thanksgiving weekend in Washington was marked by a series of crimes throughout the city. 

Police say a 16-year-old girl shot and killed Friday in Southeast D.C. was likely an unintended victim.

Breyona McMillian was killed while home for Thanksgiving from boarding school, according to family. She was near her apartment at the Potomac Gardens housing complex in the 1200 block of I Street when she was shot just before noon.

"It is our belief that there were several people outside at the time of the shooting," said Peter Newsham, interim D.C. Police Chief. "It appears at least one suspect fired multiple times, indiscriminately during that occasion and, as a result of that reckless behavior, we lost one of our 16 year-old kids."

McMillian's family and friends gathered Sunday for a vigil. In addition to heartbreak, speakers were outraged about the continued gun violence in Southeast.

"I don't understand why are kids and everybody just want to pick up guns," said McMillion's great-aunt, Rhoda Ricks.

She called on the crowd of dozens of people to take the "Bre challenge" to honor her niece.

"The Bre challenge is about putting the guns down, putting more love out there," Ricks said. "And leave the guns at home where they belong or throw them in the trash or whatever. Just get rid of the guns."

Some have called for more police patrols in high crime areas of Southeast. FOX 5 asked Chief Newsham if there were plans to increase police presence.

"I don't think that the shooting that occurred the other day was because of the lack of patrols," Newsham said. "To the extent people are asking for more patrols over there, obviously we will step up patrols because of this incident."

On Sunday, two shootings prompted Mayor Muriel Bowser to reach out to the public in a news conference.

The first happened just before 1 p.m. in the 600 block of L Street in Southeast. Police said a man and woman were shot after an argument. The man did not survive.

Police asked the public to look out for a short black male wearing a gray coat and glasses.

The second happened just after 4 p.m. in the 1300 block of Howard Road in Southeast. In that shooting, a man was killed and police asked the public to look out for a black male with dreadlocks wearing a dark colored jacket.

D.C. has now had at least 124 homicides for the year. According to police data, there were 162 homicides in 2015. There was a significant spike from 2012 when homicides were down to 88. Looking farther back, D.C. homicides have fallen dramatically since the early 1990s. The peak was in 1991 when there were 482 homicides.

On Saturday, a woman was held at knife point in the 1000 block of H Street in Northwest and physically assaulted. Her attacker, described as a Hispanic male between 21 and 25 years old with light complexion and black hair, then tried to sexually assault her. On Sunday, police were still looking for the suspect, who they say was wearing a blue jacket, dark pants and white or grey shoes at the time of the attack. 

Also on Saturday, a mailman was robbed in the 2300 block of 2nd Street in Northeast and pistol-whipped by two suspects who remain at-large. His attackers are described by police as black males wearing all black.

 

 

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